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Tonga - GP Orbassano -1

Volcanic Eruption Creates New Island

First images show a new island in Tonga which emerged after a volcanic eruption in the area

Following a month-long eruption of the underwater volcano Hunga Tonga in Tonga, a new island has emerged 65km north-west of the capital Nuku'alofa.

The first recent activity was noted on 20 December 2014 and has resulted in a new land mass measuring approximately 800m by 1,300m, with the highest peak being about 250m high.

Satellite images show the area before and after the eruption.

Tonga PleiadesSatellite beforeandafterLeft: Before the eruption on 2 July 2014; Right: After the eruption on 19 January 2015 | Credit: 2014 CNES / Distribution Airbus DS 


GP Orbassano, a hotel owner who has lived in Tonga for the past 20 years, his son and a friend visited the new island on Saturday.

In an interview with Radio Australia's Pacific Beat, Orbassano said: 'We had a beautiful view of the volcano, which inside is now full of green emerald water, smelling of sulphur and other chemicals. The view was fantastic.'

Orbassano, who used to work as profressional photographer, took a series of remarkable pictures.


The island is mostly compromised of ash and geologist expect it to take no longer than a few months before the ocean erodes the island again.


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