An undersea volcanic eruption has created a new island in the Tongan archipelago and sunk another one, said a team of geologists. The new island is reportedly three times larger than the one which sank after the volcanic eruption.
According to an official of Tonga Geological Service, the island, named ‘Lateiki’, is about 100 metres wide and 400 metres long. The Geographical hazard information for New Zealand, GeoNet shared the images of Lateiki and said that they have been tracking its eruption since mid-October. It said that by November 1, an elongated island appeared at the main focus of the seismic activity.
Since mid-Oct we’ve been tracking the #Lateiki (#Metis Shoal) #eruption with satellite imagery. By Nov 1 an elongated island has appeared at the main focus of activity. In the right most image we have combined the 1st and last images showing the 1995 dome appears to have gone. pic.twitter.com/tSukPm6car— GeoNet (@geonet) November 4, 2019
Volcanoes have been the reason behind various civilizations as well as their migration. While the eruption of an undersea volcano in Tongan island became home to plants and birdlife, residents of Kokopo in Papua New Guinea had to evacuate their homes as the volatile Ulawun volcano erupted on October 1. The highest mountain in the Bismarck Archipelago sent a column of red lava up into the sky. Despite being listed as one of the 16 ‘Decade volcanoes’, thousands of people have been living in its shadow.
Though Tonga is prone to frequent seismic activity, none of the mountains is in the ‘Decade Volcanoes list’. The ‘Decade volcanoes’ list, identified by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior (IAVCEI), made for research purpose as they are volatile and known for violent eruptions. The aim of the program is to reduce the severity of natural disasters by achieving a better understanding of the volcanoes and the dangers they possess. Avachinsky-Koryaksky, Colima, Galeras, Mauna Loa, Mount Etna, Mount Merapi, Mount Nyiragongo, Mount Rainier, Mount Vesuvius, Mount Unzen, Sakurajima, Santa María, Santorini, Taal Volcano, Teide, and Ulawun are the sixteen Decade Volcanoes.
(With inputs from agencies)