Undersea volcano erupts in Tonga, South Pacific
An undersea volcano has erupted near Tonga in the South Pacific, shooting smoke, steam and ash straight up into the sky. Scientists are on their way to inspect the volcano, and no islanders have been affected at this time and there are no reports of fish or animals being in danger either.
The volcano is shooting ash at about six miles off the coast of the main island, Tongatapu, where 36 undersea volcanoes are grouped together.
Scientists are surveying the area before any action is taken. The first signs of an eruption happened on Monday.
''This is not unusual for this area and we expect this to happen here at any time,'' said Keleti Mafi, Tonga's geological service head.
The underwater eruption was taking place near the low-lying twin volcanic islands of Hunga Tonga and Hunga Ha'apai, and within sight of the capital, Nuku'alofa.
The eruption was tirggered by a series of earthquakes in the region; they were measured at about 5.0 on the rhicter scale. However some scientists are saying that this is not the case as the eruption would have been bigger if the earthquakes triggered it.