Tonga volcanic eruption caused biggest explosion since 1883

Edited By: Rustam Roy
Washington Updated: May 15, 2022, 06:45 PM(IST)

Tsunami in Tonga Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Tong's Hunga explosion produced globally-detected infrasound upto 10,000 km away and also caused 'ionospheric perturbations.

According to scientists, the Tonga volcano eruption which took place in January this year was the strongest in the last 140 years.

The biggest volcano eruption to take place earlier was in 1883 when the Krakatau eruption occurred, scientists said. The researchers found the waves originating from the eruption were similar to that of the Krakatau eruption.

The study revealed the explosion in the atmosphere has not been documented in the "modern geophysical record".

The Hunga explosion produced globally-detected infrasound upto 10,000 km away and also caused "ionospheric perturbations" as seismometers worldwide recorded pure seismic and air-to-ground coupled waves.

Also Read: Musk donates satellite gear to reconnect Tonga

The January 15 explosion had led to an "umbrella cloud" approximately 30 km above sea level as it produced a "broad range of atmospheric waves".

The research found the audible sound was reported across Alaska as far as 10,000 km from Hunga. The research appeared in the Science journal.

Watch: Tonga eruption sent ripples through the ionosphere

The eruption had destroyed undersea the 80-kilometre long undersea cable as the Pacific island nation remained disconnected for weeks as the eruption, shockwaves and the tsunami caused major havoc. 

The carnage hampered relief efforts in the island nation of nearly 100,000 people as backup satellite links also failed due to patchy broadband connection.

The 55 kilometres long undersea cable was lost in the seabed. The explosion occurred even as the main island Tongatapu and outlying Vava'u was under lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic.

(With inputs from Agencies)


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