An underwater volcano that erupted off the coast of Tonga on Saturday sent pressure waves to the Irish coast, Ireland's meteorological service has confirmed.
Met Éireann confirmed that weather stations in Mulligar and Valentia picked up two separated jolts associated with the eruption of the volcano in the South Pacific Ocean.
In a tweet at 5:30 am on Sunday, Met Éireann shared images of graphs from the two weather stations showing a spike in pressure traces at 7 pm on Saturday.
"Following the eruption of the #TongaVolcano, pressure waves emanating from the eruption site traveled around the world. Yesterday evening Irish stations recorded a jolt in the pressure readings associated with this wave," Met Éireann said on Twitter.
Following the eruption of the #TongaVolcano, pressure waves emanating from the eruption site travelled around the world. Yesterday evening Irish stations recorded a jolt in the pressure readings associated with this wave.— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) January 16, 2022
See below pressure traces from Mullingar & Valentia ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/58YLDU9XS8
A second tweet 15 minutes later confirmed that a second wave associated with the volcano had been recorded at both stations at 2 a.m. on Sunday, January 16.
We can observe a second wave around 2 am this morning associated with #TongaVolcano
Pressure traces from Mullingar and Valentia ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/EvhBk0TJbX— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) January 16, 2022
The Irish Mirror reports that the waves reached speeds of up to 1,100 km/h, although they weren't strong enough to be noticed above the surface.
The violent underwater eruption caused tsunamis to hit Hawaii, Japan, and Tonga's largest island, Tongatapu, with waves flooding into the island's capital.
Australia and New Zealand sent surveillance flights to assess the situation in Tonga as aid agencies began coordinating relief efforts after a tsunami triggered by a massive volcanic eruption rocked the tiny island nation, causing significant damage https://t.co/gOXH3kjuWp pic.twitter.com/UHQtLml8B9— Reuters (@Reuters) January 17, 2022
Located about 18 miles from the Tongan island of Fonuafo'ou, the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha'apai volcano first erupted on Friday night before erupting again at 5:26 pm local time on Saturday.
The eruption sent plumes of ash, gas, and smoke 20 km into the air, with ash falling on the Tongan capital of Nuku'alofa.
Geologists on the site. Oversighting Hunga Ha'apai in the forefront and Hunga Tonga 'o the left. The plumes up to 20km above sea level.Posted by Tonga Geological Services, Government of Tonga. on Friday, January 14, 2022
A severe tsunami hit the island of Tongatapu, flooding coastal roads and properties.
Waves flood the grounds of Tonga's Royal Palace, while local media outlets reported that Tonga's King Tupou VI was evacuated from the palace.
Throughout Saturday, tsunami warnings were issued in the US, Japan, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada's British Columbia.
Waves of more than 4 ft associated with the volcano were recorded in Port Luis, California, while waves of more than 3 ft were also felt in Alaska.
The National Tsunami Warning Center issued coastal tsunami advisory notices for California, Alaska, Oregon, and Washington.
On Monday, CNN reported that no mass casualties had yet been reported, but aid organizations are concerned about contaminated air and access to clean water for people in Tonga's outlying islands.