I find this fascinating.
The eruption began Monday after a series of earthquakes near Tonga, a 170-island archipelago between Australia and Tahiti, residents told the Associated Press. There were magnitude-5.0 quakes there Sunday night and Monday afternoon, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Though the Wellington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) issued an advisory for the area, the plume isnâ€™t engendering island residents and so far hasnâ€™t hurt fish or other animals, according to the AP.
Yesterday a plume rose to between 15,000 and 25,000 feet (4.6 to 7.6 kilometers), the Smithsonian’s Global Volcanism Program reported. “It’s a very significant eruption, on quite a large scale,” Tonga’s chief geologist, Kelepi Maf, told the Times of London. This is not unusual for this area and we expect this to happen here at any time.