New island created by underwater volcanic eruption in Tonga may soon disappear

Volcanologist says it will probably take the ocean no more than a few months to erode it entirely

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The Independent Online

A new island created by a volcanic eruption in Tonga will probably not last too long, a scientist who has visited the site has said.

The underwater volcano began erupting last month in the ocean about 40 miles north of the capital, Nuku’alofa, and caused some disruption to air travel for a time last week.

The New Zealand volcanologist Nico Fournier said he travelled by boat to within about a mile of the new island on Saturday to take a closer look.

He said its dimensions are about 1.1 miles by 0.9 miles and that it rises about 100 metres above the sea.

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“It’s quite an exciting site – you get to see the birth of an island,” he said. “Visually it was quite spectacular, but there was no big sound coming with it, no boom. It was a bit eerie.”

Mr Fournier said that once the submarine volcano stops erupting, it will probably take the ocean no more than a few months to erode the island entirely.

AP

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