Trending

Satellite imagery shows the widespread damages after Tonga volcano eruption and tsunami

Business Insider US
A satellite image of Tonga's capital, Nuku'alofa, after a volcano eruption and tsunami.
©2022 Maxar Technologies
  • A volcano erupted near Tonga on January 15, 2022, causing a tsunami to hit the region.
  • The tsunami and eruption killed at least three people, according to Tonga's government.
  • Satellite imagery from Maxar Technologies shows the devastation from the natural disasters.
  • For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

An underwater volcano erupted on January 15, 2022, near the island nation of Tonga, engulfing the region in ash and leading a tsunami to hit the country's largest island, Tongatapu. 

At least three people are dead from the tsunami that accompanied the volcanic eruption. The tsunami also destroyed every home on the approximately 50-person Mango island.

The eruption left a blanket of ash on Tonga's islands and shut off most communication to the nation, affecting surrounding nations from distributing aid. New Zealand's foreign affairs minister, Nanaia Mahuta, said Tuesday that an abundance of ash on the runway of Tongatapu had to be cleared before planes with supplies could land. 

According to a report from New Zealand's 1 News, it took 200 people to sweep away just 100 meters of ash off the runway of Fua'amotu International Airport.

Satellite imagery from Maxar Technologies presented to Insider show the island of the volcano and Tongatapu before and after the eruption. 

Tonga's main port in Nuku'alofa before the eruption:

Satellite image of the main port facilities in Tonga's capital, Nuku'alofa, before a volcano erupted on January 15, 2022.
Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies

Tonga's main port in Nuku'alofa after the eruption:

Main port facilities in Tonga's capital, Nuku'alofa, after a volcano erupted on January 15, 2022.
Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies

Homes and buildings in Tonga before the eruption:

A satellite image of the homes and buildings in Tonga before a volcano erupted.
Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies

Homes and buildings in Tonga after the eruption:

A satellite image of Tonga's capital, Nuku'alofa, after a volcano eruption and tsunami.
©2022 Maxar Technologies

The island of Hunga Tonga, where the volcano sat, before it erupted:

The island of Hunga Tonga, where a volcano erupted on January 15.
Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies

The island of Hunga Tonga after the volcano erupted:

The volcano on the island of Hunga Tonga after it erupted on January 15, 2022.
Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies

Get the best of our site emailed to you every weekday.

Go to the Business Insider front page for more stories.