Jan 16, 2022

Pacific tsunami threat recedes; volcanic eruption detected in Kansas

Posted Jan 16, 2022 1:53 PM

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — The tsunami threat around the Pacific from a huge undersea volcanic eruption has begun to recede but the massive ash cloud covering the tiny island nation of Tonga is preventing surveillance flights from New Zealand to assess the extent of damage.

The eruption on Saturday sent tsunami waves swirling around buildings and people rushing to higher ground.

The eruption was massive enough to be detected in Kansas, Kansas Mesonet noted on its Twitter account.

The explosion cut the internet to Tonga, leaving friends and family members around the world anxiously trying to get in touch. Even government websites and other official sources remained without updates on Sunday afternoon.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says there's not been any official reports of injuries or deaths in Tonga but authorities haven't yet made contact with some coastal areas and smaller islands.