The aftermath of the Jan 15, 2022, Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano eruption. The ash cloud surrounding the volcano could dwarf the biggest man-made nuclear explosion, and more than 200,000 lightning flashes were detected in the plume.
A major volcanic eruption filmed from space
The nearby islands around Tonga have been blanketed by ash, and it now looks like a grey moonscape. Residents were told to stay indoors while the ash was falling, and the ash contaminated freshwater supplies.
Jan 15, 2022, Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano eruption
On December 20, 2021, Hunga Tonga – Hunga Ha’apai, a submarine volcano in the Tonga Islands, began erupting and reached its climax nearly four weeks later.
The Henga-Tonga-Hapai volcano erupted on December 20, 2021, sending particulate matter into the stratosphere. Large amounts of ash were visible from Tonga’s capital, Nuku’alofa.
Residents of Samoa, Fiji, Niue, Vanuatu, and New Zealand heard the eruption, and roars were heard as far away as Alaska.
Volcanic explosions cause atmospheric shock waves to travel around the globe. Such pressure waves have been measured at weather stations in many places, including New Zealand, Australia and Europe.
The Vaisala National Lightning Detection Network recorded tens of thousands of lightning bolts during the eruption phase.