Tsunami Impact of Mount Tonga Eruption, Dozens of Ships in Japan Sink

Dozens of ships in Japan sank due to the tsunami that occurred in Tonga. The tsunami caused by an underwater volcanic eruption hit the Pacific coast of Japan on Sunday (16/1) morning local time.

Reported by Japantimes, 14 ships sank in Kochi Prefecture and 5 ships capsized in Tokushima Prefecture. Meanwhile, no casualties were reported as a result of the incident.


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The Meteorological Agency recorded a 1.2 meter tsunami was observed in the city of Amami on Saturday (15/1). Meanwhile, a 1.1 meter tsunami occurred in Iwate Prefecture on Sunday (16/1) at 02:26 local time.

According to the agency, small tsunamis of less than 1 meter were also observed in areas of the country's Pacific coast, from Hokkaido to Kyushu and Okinawa.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said at least 210,000 people in seven prefectures, namely Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Chiba, Kochi, Miyazaki and Kagoshima, were asked to stay away from the coast.

Authorities are calling on residents of Japan's Pacific coast to stay away from waterfront areas until the tsunami warning is lifted.

The Japanese government also rushed to ensure the safety of Japanese citizens in Tonga. According to the website of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 35 of these nationals were in Tonga as of April 2020.

The Tonga tsunami originated from the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha'apai volcano which first erupted on Friday (14/1). The eruption threw ash plumes as far as 20 km into the air.

The second eruption occurred on Saturday (15/1) at 17:26 local time. The Australian Meteorological Agency recorded a tsunami wave as high as 1.2 meters near Nuku'alofa at 5:30 p.m. local time.

Meanwhile, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported tsunami waves as high as 0.8 meters (2.7 ft), observed from gauges at Nuku'alofa.

A number of regions around the Pacific also issued tsunami warnings following the events that occurred in Tonga. Seattle's National Weather Service issues a tsunami warning for the US Pacific Coast.

Laguna Beach, California, USA, also closed all its beaches. The same applies to other coastal areas, piers, ports that have activated an emergency operations center following a tsunami warning.

A tsunami warning is in effect along the Japanese coastline. Due to the eruption of the Tonga volcano, a tsunami wave as high as 1.2 meters was observed hitting Amami Oshima Island, Kagoshima prefecture. Followed by waves as high as 1.1 meters in Kuju Port, Iwate Prefecture.