27 May 2015

Tonga's new volcanic area shrinking

7:00 am on 27 May 2015

Tonga's Geology office says the land area formed after an underwater volcano erupted for weeks is shrinking fast.

The volcanic island is covered with deep channels that are unstable to walk on.

The volcanic island is covered with deep channels that are unstable to walk on. Photo: GP ORBASSANO

Rennie Vaiomo'unga, who works at the Geology Office, has told Radio Tonga that the expansion of Hunga Ha'apai, which is about 65 kilometres northwest of Nuku'alofa, won't last.

The eruption ended in late January after forming an additional area of more than a square kilometre with a peak about 120 metres high.

He says the latest survey found that the island is dangerous because a volcanic eruption is possible at any time.

A crater lake on Tonga's newest island.

A crater lake on Tonga's newest island. Photo: GP ORBASSANO

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