The island of Tongatapu—Tonga’s largest—has been hit by a tsunami following an underwater volcanic eruption, and now the U.S. west coast is seeing an advisory of its own. 

The advisory stretches from California to Alaska—including British Columbia for our neighbors in Canada—and satellites are showing ash clouds and shockwaves appearing from the volcano, per CNN

In Tonga, the coastal capital of Nuku’alofa experienced flooding at various properties, and the country’s King Tupou VI was evacuated from his palace as a result, according to CNN affiliate Radio New Zealand.

The storm also saw phone connections interrupted in Nuku’alofa and ash falling from the sky, as residents rushed to stay above ground. The initial Friday eruption—which took place a reported 40 miles north of the capital—resulted in 12.4 miles of ash shooting into the air, as the publication reports. A second eruption took place at 5:26 p.m. local time, as a roughly 4-foot tsunami wave was recorded near the capital shortly after, per Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology.

Frightening video, shown above as posted by Fiji One’s Jese Tuisini, features waves apparently knocking over fencing as cars drove off to flee the scene. “It is literally dark in parts of Tonga and people are rushing to safety following the eruption,” he wrote.

The NWS National Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska has issued the resulting U.S. advisory, as warning coordinator Dave Snider told CNN that the wave has been spotted “moving through Hawaiian Island.” It is estimated to arrive in California around 7 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.​​​​​​​ PST. 

“We don’t have a really good forecast because this event is based on a volcano rather than earthquake,” Snider said, noting that an advisory was issued, not a warning.

Similar advisories have been issued by the National Weather Service Seattle, which is asking people to steer clear of water and “away from shore along the coastal areas and continue to monitor for updates.”



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