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Tsunami alerts in South Pacific, US coast after volcano erupts

  Tongans have fled to higher ground after an undersea volcano erupted, sending tsunami waves crashing onto the South Pacific island and tri...

 


Tongans have fled to higher ground after an undersea volcano erupted, sending tsunami waves crashing onto the South Pacific island and triggering warnings as far as the US West Coast.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or the extent of the damage as communications in the island nation – home to about 100,000 people – remained down on Saturday.

In Hawaii, Alaska and along the US Pacific coast, residents were asked to move away from the coastline to higher ground and pay attention to specific instructions from their local emergency management officials, said Dave Snider, tsunami warning coordinator for the National Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska.

The first waves to hit the continental United States were measured at about 0.3 metres in Nikolski, Atka and Adak, Alaska.

The wave was about 0.2 metres (0.7 feet) at Monterey, California, the US National Tsunami Warning Center said in a tweet.

The National Weather Service said there were reports of waves pushing boats in Hawaii. Sea level fluctuations were also beginning in Alaska and California, according to the National Tsunami Warning Center.

Beaches and piers were closed across Southern California as a precaution but the National Weather Service tweeted there were “no significant concerns about inundation”.

Strong rip currents were possible, however, and officials warned people to stay out of the water.

aljazeera.com

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