A birp from the Earth


Underwater Volcano, Pacific Ocean, 2022

When this happens, can you name two results?

  • Take a guess.
  • Think about it. 
  • The rest of the story appears below, on this page, in 1-minute.

The video is of an underwater volcano that erupted in the Pacific Ocean on a Saturday in 2022.

You would be correct if you said that it would cause:

  1. the raining of ash on the nearby neighbors, and
  2. tsunami advisories for others thousands of miles away. 

This underwater volucano sent ash from the sky onto a nearby nation of Tonga. The tidal wave warnings went to Japan, Hawaii, New Zealand and California.

Geologic details

This eruption was huge. It was equivalent to a magnitude 5.8 earthquake, according to the US Geological Survey. It released a plume of ash thousands of feet in the air, and generated a sonic boom that could be heard nearly 6,000 miles away in Alaska.

  • Tsunamis, which are caused by the sudden displacement of a large amount of water, are primarily caused by earthquakes, not undersea volcanoes.
Due to the ash, Tonga looks “like a moonscape,” locals told the BBC. While no deaths have been reported there, the damage to Tonga is “significant,” New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern said. The event knocked-out communication and internet lines and made it difficult to reach some of Tonga's 105,000 residents.


The eruption's effect on New Zealand and the West Coast of the US was limited.

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