Overall Red alert Volcanic eruption for Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha apai
in Tonga

Event summary

Volcanic eruption Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha apai can have a high humanitarian impact based on the exposed population and vulnerability.

GDACS ID VO 1000036
Name: Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha apai
Lat/Lon: -20.536 , -175.382
Event Date: 18 Jan 2022 UTC
Exposed Population 30km: No people affected
Exposed Population 100km: About 80000 people within 100km
Max Volc. Explosivity Index VEI: 2
Population Exposure Index PEI: 2
Inserted at: 18 Jan 2022 09:22 UTC

GDACS Score

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Virtual OSOCC
Meteo assessment
Satellite products
Analytical products
Tonga - Volcano eruption and tsunami, update (ECHO 17 Jan 2022)Mon, 17 Jan 2022 12:14

  • After the eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai underwater volcano (approximately 60 km north of Tongatapu, the main island of Tonga) on 15 January, tsunami waves affected several countries of the Pacific Ocean, particularly Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, USA, Mexico, Peru and Chile.
  • In addition, a huge amount of ashfall emitted by the volcano has been recorded in Tonga (particularly in Tongatapu Island) and across the islands of Vatoa and Ono-i-Lau in Fiji. The activity of the volcano is still ongoing.
  • According to media reports, two people have died in northern Peru due to unusually high waves. UN OCHA reports damage to buildings and infrastructure around Nuku’alofa, the capital of Tonga that was affected by a tsunami wave of 1.2 metres. 
  • Since the damage assessment is still ongoing, the exact needs and the impact on infrastructure and population are still unclear. Phone connections and electricity were down after the eruption, but according to recent reports, the power has been already restored. Nevertheless, the communication with the island remains difficult.
  • DG ECHO is closely monitoring the situation.
Volcano Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai - Copernicus EMS activation (EMSR558)Sat, 15 Jan 2022 17:53

EMSR558: Copernicus Emergency Management Service has been activated
Tonga and Pacific Ocean - Volcanic eruption and tsunami, update (ECHO 18 Jan 2022)Tue, 18 Jan 2022 12:16

  • The number of casualties is increasing, following the tsunami triggered by the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai eruption on 15 January.
  • Tsunami waves, that affected several countries in the Pacific Ocean, were also recorded at gauge points across the Atlantic coast of Morocco and in the Western Mediterranean, including Toulon (southern France), Carloforte (Sardinia), Palermo (Sicily), and Marsaxlokk (Malta), with the amplitudes of less than 15 cm.
  • According to the UN, in Tonga, two people are still missing and widespread damage has been detected across the country, especially in the main island Tongatapu. In Peru, two other people died and in Japan, national authorities reported several evacuations and two injured people.
  • On 18 January, the Union Civil Protection Mechanism was activated following a request from Tonga for managing the volcano eruption and tsunami consequences.
  • The Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service (EMS) was activated in rapid mapping mode () on 15 January and one map has been produced so far.
Tonga - Volcanic eruption and tsunami, update (ECHO 19 Jan 2022)Wed, 19 Jan 2022 12:27

  • According to the United Nations, at least three people have died, and many people are still missing, following the huge volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami waves that affected mostly the archipelago of Tonga on 15 January.
  • At least 90 people have been evacuated in evacuation centres located in the Island of Eua, 17 km south-east of Tongatapu, the most affected island where around 50 houses have been destroyed, and 50 damaged. Many other displaced people fled to the homes of friends and family. Damage has been also reported across the islands of Mango and Fonoi. Furthermore, the affected undersea telecommunications cable connecting Tonga to the rest of the world will take at least a month to be repaired.
  • On 18 January 2022, the Government of Tonga requested assistance from the EU Civil Protection Mechanism through EU Member States/Participating States.
  • The Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service (EMS) was activated in rapid mapping mode () on 15 January, and two maps have been produced so far.
Tonga - Volcanic eruption, update (ECHO 24 Jan 2022)Mon, 24 Jan 2022 12:37

  • Following the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha'apai volcanic eruption and the generated tsunami and volcanic ash, the number of fatalities stands at three, while several people have been injured, as reported by the Government of Tonga.
  • At least 60 people remain displaced on Nomuka Island. Ashfall and a tsunami from the volcanic eruption affected an estimated 84% of the population of Tonga covering the whole of Tonga. Food, water and relief items are being distributed to the affected area. Inter-island communication remains limited.
  • Following a request for assistance on 18 January 2022, the EU is channelling aid to Tonga in the aftermath of the volcanic eruption of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai and tsunami in the South Pacific. Via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, the EU is coordinating with France the delivery of relief items. 
  • DG ECHO is supporting the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) with an amount of EUR 200,000 humanitarian aid funding.
  • The Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service (EMS) was activated in rapid mapping mode () on 15 January, and 20 maps have been produced so far.
Detailed event map. European Union, 2022. Map produced by EC-JRC.
The boundaries and the names shown on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the European Union.

Updates on volcanic activity (Smithsonian)

The Smithsonian/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report provides information about global volcanism on a weekly basis. See the detail here

Latest media headlines

Articles: 6613 | About casualties: 105 | Last hour: 0

La Nasa dévoile des images des nuages de cendres du volcan Hunga Tonga2022-01-21T23:55+0100.

Le 15 janvier, l'éruption du volcan Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai , qui a provoqué un tsunami, a coupé cette petite nation du Pacifique du reste de la planète après la rupture du câble de communications reliant l'archipel au réseau internet. L’
...(more)
Elon Musk offers Starlink internet to Tonga after eruption, tsunami2022-01-21T23:49+0100.

. Tech billionaire Elon Musk offered to provide Starlink internet to the nation of Tonga on Thursday after a massive underwater volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami knocked service offline this week. Musk’s offer of aid followed a re
...(more)
Decretan emergencia climática por derrame de petróleo en costas peruan ... 2022-01-21T23:40+0100.

Lima.- El presidente peruano, Pedro Castillo, decretó ayer la emergencia climática mientras brigadas de limpieza luchan por contener un derrame de petróleo a consecuencia de oleajes tras la erupción de un volcán en Tonga, cuyos daños se han
...(more)
Tonga volcano eruption and tsunami: Shockwave recorded in Tauranga Har ... 2022-01-21T23:36+0100.

The shockwave was recorded by monitoring instruments at Ōmokoroa wharf, pictured in 2018. Photo / Supplied WBOPDC Live monitoring sites picked up the exact time the shockwave from the Tongan eruption hit Tauranga Harbour. The Bay of Plen
...(more)

Estimated casualties (PAGER)

USGS estimates the number of casualties for each earthquake for the Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response (PAGER) product.
The graph shows the current fatalities estimate.

Exposed population

Data, images, links, services and documents

For this events, GDACS has links to information from the following sources: EMSR (2), EC-JRC (31), INFORM (1),