Tongans have fled to higher ground after an undersea volcano erupted, sending tsunami waves crashing onto the South Pacific island and triggering warnings as far as the US West Coast.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or the extent of the damage as communications in the island nation – home to about 100,000 people – remained down on Saturday.
A tsunami wave measuring 1.2 metres (4 feet) was observed in Tonga’s capital Nuku’alofa, according to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology.
Videos posted on social media showed large waves washing ashore in coastal areas, swirling around homes and buildings.
Tonga Meteorological Services said the tsunami warning was in effect for all of Tonga.
New Zealand’s military said it was monitoring the situation and remained on standby, ready to assist if asked.
The Islands Business news site reported that a convoy of police and military evacuated Tonga’s King Tupou VI from his…