Friday, March 20, 2009

Underwater Volcanic Explosion and 7.7 Earthquake

Yesterday there was an underwater volcanic explosion about 6 miles southwest of the main island of Tongatapu, a new volcano/island is forming there. I guess there are 36 underwater volcanoes in that area. We could see plumes of smoke on the horizon that evening, and a small trail of smoke coming up from the volcanic island of Tofua just west of us. So a lot of activity is going on here! And when there is volcanic activity there are earthquakes.

There have been quite a few earthquakes in the last few days, I think I heard there were 14 earthquakes. This morning was a big one, measured at 7.7 by the Pacific and 7.9 by the US measurements. And we haven't felt a single one of these earthquakes, slept right through the one this morning. Because of the measurement of this last earthquake there was a tsunami warning until around noon today, it was just cancelled. But we did hear on CNN that it was reported a "small tsunami" was in the water, but with no big destructive waves.
So we're safe and fine here in Ha'apai! We're even planning on going out in a boat snorkeling tomorrow with our friends that own the scuba diving shop here, should be fun.
Here's a link to an article about the volcanic explosion if you're interested, I guess it made a lot of news around the world today/yesterday.

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