Japan Sees A Meter High Tsunami After Tonga Volcano Eruption But No Major Damage

Japan witnessed tsunami waves approximately 1 meter high in the coastal regions on Sunday. After the eruption of an underwater volcanic crater off Tonga, there was no major flooding or damage but almost 230,000 residents got evacuation orders.

Japan’s meteorological agency had issued alerts and tsunami warnings at the beginning of the day of the Pacific coast, from Hokkaido up to Okinawa however, they were all removed in the afternoon, following about 14 hours.

The agency stated that minor sea-level fluctuations could continue for a while however, there isn’t any danger of a catastrophe. However, it warned about marine activities, such as those that are done underwater, as well as fishing.

While there weren’t any serious human injuries, a few fishing boats capsized, and the warnings led to delays or canceled public transportation.

An aerial view shows capsized boats believed to be affected by the tsunami caused by an underwater volcano eruption on the island of Tonga at the South Pacific, in Muroto, Kochi prefecture, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo January 16, 2022. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS  (MANDATORY CREDIT NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN JAPAN)

As many as 229,000 people from eight prefectures -eight prefectures – Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Chiba, Tokushima, Kochi, Miyazaki, and Kagoshima — were ordered to evacuate from the beach according to Fire and Disaster Management Agency.

Students from high schools in those provinces who had to take the two-day nationwide entrance exams for universities starting Saturday couldn’t give the exams so they will soon be rearranged.

A 1.2-meter wave was seen in Amami Island in Japan’s southwest just before midnight on Saturday, and a 1.1-meter one was later observed within the Iwate Prefecture in the northeast which was struck by the devastating tsunami that followed the earthquake over a decade ago.

Japan Tonga Volcanic Eruption

The residents of Kamaishi, one of the cities most severely affected by the 2011 tsunami rapidly walked to a temple located on the higher ground following an alert for tsunamis that was issued about 3 a.m. on Sunday.

“We evacuated just in case. It brought back memories of the (2011) earthquake and made us feel uneasy,” said 79-year-old Jiro Saito, who departed on the foot with his wife.

Japan Tonga Volcanic Eruption

The maritime, air, and train transportation was on the decline including the cancellation of 27 Japan Airlines domestic flights including between and to Amami canceled. Talking about damage to ships and fishing boats, a sum of 22 vessels across western Japan are affected.

The fears of a tsunami in the Pacific due to the massive volcanic eruption on Saturday afternoon which caused residents of Tonga to flee have largely been averted, but the magnitude of the damage is still unclear.

A Japan Meteorological Agency official speaks at a press conference in Tokyo in the early hours of Jan. 16, 2022. (Image: Kyodo)

A volcano that is about 65 km north of Nuku’alofa began to erupt on Saturday, and the entire island nation was reported to be hit by a wave that could reach 80 centimeters. Other nearby islands along with some belonging to the US also observed a light tsunami.


Source: Kyodo

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