Tags: tonga | island | volcano | underwater | south pacific

Tonga Island in South Pacific Formed From Underwater Volcanic Eruption

By    |   Thursday, 12 Mar 2015 03:42 PM

The erupting Hunga Tonga volcano in the South Pacific has birthed a new island that scientists say is likely to be unstable.

The 1,600-foot long island is part of the Kingdom of Tonga, a Polynesian state that includes more than 175 small islands. The BBC reported that the new island came into being after the underwater volcano, officially named Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai, began erupting in December.

Despite warnings from scientists that the island may be unsafe, people are still traveling there. Gianpiero Orbassano, 63, owns a hotel in Tonga, and he went to visit the new land mass with friends.

"It's really quite solid once you are on it and it's quite high," he told the BBC. “It felt quite safe — the only difficult thing was getting out of the boat on to the island. The surface was hot, you could feel it. And climbing it was hard in the bright sun."

Orbassano told the British news organization that he liked getting photographs of such things, and that he visited another new island in the Pacific previously.

“I don't feel risk," he said. "When I am doing this kind of thing, I'm focusing on my photographs. I don't feel danger."

The adventurer said that his group climbed to the top of the island’s crater, which was about 820 feet high.

“We had a beautiful view of the volcano, which inside is now full of green emerald water, smelling of sulphur and other chemicals," Orbassano told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat program.


The rarity of a new island forming raised interest online.




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The erupting Hunga Tonga volcano in the South Pacific has birthed a new island that scientists say is likely to be unstable.
tonga, island, volcano, underwater, south pacific
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2015-42-12
Thursday, 12 Mar 2015 03:42 PM
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