PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The underwater volcanic eruption near the South Pacific island nation of Tonga is not the first large volcanic eruption in the past year. One on the Spanish Canary Islands lasted for months.
Whether there will be more volcanic blasts or tsunami warnings for the Pacific Northwest remains to be seen, USGS Volcanologist Wendy Stovall told KOIN 6 News.
“We will keep an eye out on things as it progresses, but certainly the type of volcano that it is there could be some additional eruptions that are large and could produce more tsunamis or it could just die out,” Stovall said. “We don’t really know at this point.”
Stovall said thie volcano near Tonga is regularly active. A smaller eruption started about December 20 but died out before this one set off tsunami warnings.
The eruption of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai near the island of Tonga happened beneath the Pacific Ocean’s surface and sent ash, steam and gas more than 10 miles into the sky, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Airwaves from this underwater volcanic eruption were detected at seismic stations several thousand miles away in Oregon, the U.S. Geological Survey said Saturday. The related seismic stations are located at volcanic sites in the Cascades, like Mt. Hood.