Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha'apai

Der Spiegel has an excellent photograph of the underwater eruption near Tonga. Click over for a link to the full-sized version (the magnify icon at the lower right of the image). Clicking over to Eruptions to find what Erik Klemetti has said about this over the last couple of days, there has apparently also just been a M7.9 earthquake in the region... that's a biggie, folks. It is unlkely there's any direct relationship between the eruption and the quake- read the post for details. His posts on this volcano include another photo and link to video here, yesterday's report that the plume is disrupting air traffic, and Tuesday's first alert.

The Volcanism Blog has also been covering this developing story. Today he has posted a summary of available information, along with an extensive set of links to news reports and other sources of information. Yesterday, he posted an extraordinary sequence of still photos, and later linked to the BBC video from which they were taken. Those two posts and two other earlier posts can be seen under the Tonga tag.

This seems to me to have the makings of a fascinating eruption, from which the volcanology community will learn a lot, or a horrifying disaster. Or, I hate to say, both.

Followup (6:40 PM) Hadn't got to this piece yet... The Big Picture has a very nice photo set of this eruption.

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