Dramatic satellite footage has captured the sheer power of the underwater volcanic eruption near Tonga, showing a monstrous plume of ash and smoke bursting from the ocean’s surface.
The eruption of the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano on Saturday was recorded in real-time on an Earth-watching satellite operated by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The footage shows plumes of ash, steam and gas exploding like a mushroom cloud over the Pacific Ocean.
The eruption was so powerful that the space satellite not only captured the huge ash cloud, but also an atmospheric shockwave that radiated out from the volcano at close to the speed of sound.
It could be heard some 1,430 miles away in New Zealand, and the tsunami caused waves that were seen as far away as California.
While the tsunami threat receded Sunday, scientists are struggling to monitor the volcano because the explosion destroyed its sea-level crater and drowned its mass — making it invisible to the satellites.
“The concern at the moment is how little information we have and that’s scary,” Janine Krippner, a New Zealand-based volcanologist with the Smithsonian Global Volcanism Program, told Reuters.
“When the vent is below water, nothing can tell us what will happen next.”
There are no official reports of injuries or deaths in Tonga as a result of the explosion or tsunami, but the family of a missing British charity worker Angela Glover said Monday that her body had been found.
The family told The Post that Glover was swept away by a tsunami wave as she tried to rescue her dogs.
With Post wires