More tsunami warnings in Oregon? “I don’t really know yet”

A volcanic eruption in the South Pacific has triggered tsunami advisories along the west coast of the United States

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The underwater volcanic eruption near the South Pacific island nation of Tonga is not the first major volcanic eruption in the past year. One on the Spanish Canary Islands lasted for months.

Whether there will be more volcanic explosions or tsunami warnings for the Pacific Northwest remains to be seen, USGS volcanologist Wendy Stovall told KOIN 6 News.

“We will keep an eye on things as they progress, but for sure the type of volcano this is about could have additional eruptions which are significant and could produce more tsunamis or just s ‘extinguish,'” Stovall said. “We don’t really know at this point.”

Stovall said this volcano near Tonga is regularly active. A smaller eruption began around December 20 but died down before this triggered tsunami warnings.

The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption near the island of Tonga occurred below the surface of the Pacific Ocean and sent ash, steam and gas more than 16 km into the sky , according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The waves from this underwater volcanic eruption were detected in seismic stations several thousand kilometers away far into Oregon, the US Geological Survey said on Saturday. Associated seismic stations are located at volcanic sites in the Cascades, such as Mount Hood.

Edward K. Thompson