Volcanos in Tonga

At 3 volcanos in Tonga there have been a total of 4 siginificant eruptions over the past 200 years. The worst volcanic eruption in terms of deaths, destroyed houses and financial damages happened on 01/15/2022 at the volcano "Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai".

All 6 volcanos in Tonga are still considered as active. Additionally there are 4 active submarine volcanos.

Other natural hazards in Tonga:
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Tonga is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, which stretches for about 40,000 km around the Pacific Ocean. Here the tectonic plate of the Pacific collides with several surrounding continental plates and seismic tremors occur again and again. Most of the world's volcanic eruptions, which are also the most severe, occur in this zone.

Significant volcanic eruptions in Tonga in the last 200 years

The following list shows all volcanoes of the last 200 years with significant damage. The column "VEI" stands for the volcano explosivity index, which represents the strength of the eruption from a geological point of view. This takes into account the height and volume of the rocks ejected. The scale ranges from 0-8, with the severity of the outbreak increasing tenfold with each value. For example, a VEI of 1 means that the volcano throws lava and rock masses of 100,000 to 1 million cubic metres up to 1 kilometre high. From VEI 8 a volcano is considered a super volcano. Here, more than 1000 cubic kilometers of tephra are thrown to altitudes of more than 25 kilometers.

The highest explosivity index in Tonga was reached in the review period at VEI 4 in 1886. The volcano Niuafo'ou threw tephramasses of at least 100 million cubic meters over 10 kilometers high. Volcanoes of this size do not normally erupt more frequently than every 10 years.

EruptionVolcanoVEIDeathsTotal damage
01/15/2022Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai00

All volcanos in Tonga

VolcanoElevationStatusLast eruption
Fonualei129 mActive
Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai114 mActive01/15/2022
Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai114 mActive01/15/2022
Leith Island518 mActive
Niuafo'ou260 mActive
Tofua Island506 mActive

These statistics are based on datas from the Smithsonian Institution's Global Volcanism Program (GVP), and the Significant Volcanic Eruptions Database of the National Geophysical Data Center (NOAA) / World Data Service (NGDC/WDS) doi:10.7289/V5JW8BSH. Several data have been summarized and translated.
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