Tsunami observed in Samoa as Tonga volcano erupts

An underwater volcano erupted off Tonga on Saturday (January 15) and triggered a tsunami warning for several South Pacific island nations.

Footage on social media showed waves crashing into homes.

Residents there were told to evacuate immediately:

"We have a tsunami warning at this time. Please evacuate to higher grounds immediately. This is from an eruption, volcanic eruption near Tonga, and we are now under a tsunami warning for American Samoa. Please head to higher ground immediately if you are in the danger zone. Thank you."

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, based in Honolulu, later canceled warnings.

But said a tsunami advisory remains in effect for the U.S. state of Hawaii.

Fiji has also issued a warning, urging residents to avoid the shorelines "due to strong currents and dangerous waves."

The eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai underwater volcano -- located about 40 miles north of the Tongan capital of Nuku’alofa -- caused a 4-ft tsunami, according to Australia's Bureau of Meteorology.

It continued to monitor the situation but said no tsunami threat had been issued to the Australian mainland, islands, or territories.

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