7 Nov 2006

A new island emerges in Tonga

7:03 pm on 7 November 2006

A new island has emerged between Tonga's volcanic islands of Kao in the Ha'apai Group and Late in the Vava'u Group.

The Matangi Tonga website says eyewitnesses are reporting the emergence of the island though there has been no official confirmation from the Government.

The website says the island is thought to have emerged after a volcanic eruption in early September which also spewed large amounts of floating pumice into Tongan waters.

That pumice has now drifted 350 kilometres to the west south west into Fiji waters.

One fisherman who sighted the new island, Siaosi Fenukitau, says it is bigger that Fotuha'a in the Ha'apai which is home to 134 people.