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A massive undersea volcanic eruption that triggered a 7.4 magnitude earthquake near Tonga has caused tsunami waves and extensive flooding up to 10,000km away from the epicentre.
The effect has been felt in New Zealand, the US, Canada and some South American countries.
Warnings were also triggered for much of the east coast of Australia, Fiji, New Vanuatu, American Samoa, Lord Howe Island, Macquarie Island and Norkfolk Island.
Waves of up to 1.3metres were recorded in Port San Luis, California and tsunami-effect waves were recorded along the coast in other parts of the state, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia in Canada and in Alaska.
A dock (pictured) is torn apart in a marina at Tutukaka, New Zealand, Sunday, January 16, 2022
In New Zealand, a dock was torn apart in a marina at Tutukaka on the North Island on Sunday after waves from the volcanic eruption swept in.
The marina and some campgrounds in Northland were evacuated due to the surge which caused ‘significant damage’, sinking a number of boats and badly damaging others.
In the US, despite the dire warnings, spectators flocked to beaches to view the surging tsunami waves, and some surfers threw caution to the wind to catch them.
In Santa Cruz, video showed significant flooding near the harbour, with at least one vehicle caught in the surge.
The tsunami also reached South America and caused serious flooding in Peru on the west coast of the continent.
The Chilean coast of Los Rios, almost 10,000km from Tonga, was also been affected.
Chilean beaches were left empty after a mass evacuation along its extensive coastline, which stretches more than half the length of the continent’s west coast
The 8.10am tsunami-affected wave (pictured) at Santa Cruz, California, USA on January 15, 2022
People evacuate the coastline in Chile following a tsunami preventive advisory
Chile’s National Emergency Management Authority issued a tsunami warning in three regions of the country following the eruption of the Honga Hapai volcano in Tonga.
‘Based on the new assessments, the Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service of the Chilean Navy has declared a tsunami threat to coastal areas in the Los Lagos region,’ it wrote on Twitter.
‘The threat of a tsunami has also been announced in the regions of Coquimbo and Los Rios.’
The Chilean authorities urged citizens to leave coastal areas and move to higher ground.
The tsunami has caused a lot of flooding in the South American nation of Peru (pictured)
An empty beach is pictured after mass evacuation from the coastline in Chile, following a tsunami preventive advisory generated by local authorities, after an underwater volcano eruption on the island of Tonga
People look towards the ocean at a beach after a mass evacuation from the coastline in Chile
In Peru, the authorities reassured the public that what was happening was not a tsunami.
After fellow South American countries with Pacific coastlines, such as Chile and Ecuador were put on alert after the Tongan volcanic eruption, several videos on San Bartolo beach in Peru showed the sea receding, alarmed swimmers.
‘After an analysis and evaluation through the National Tsunami Warning Center of this Directorate, it is reported that this event does not generate a tsunami on the Peruvian coast,’ the Directorate of Hydrography and Navigation of the Peruvian Navy said in a statement.
An empty beach is pictured after mass evacuation from the coastline in Chile