A Russian satellite has captured the scale of the devastation from space, revealing an island that has been utterly annihilated

The NASA Earth Observatory said that Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano emitted debris up to 40 kilometres high into the atmosphere as a result of the January 15 outburst, which triggered huge tsunami waves.

“We think the amount of energy released by the eruption was equivalent to somewhere between five to 30 million ton of TNT,” according to research by NASA scientist Jim Garvin in a press release.

According to the NASA, the eruption was 15,000 times more potent than the atomic bomb of Hiroshima, placed above the Japanese city of Hiroshima in August 1945, containing an estimated 15 kilotons (15.000 tons) of TNT.

The agency said the blast “obliterated” the volcanic island around 41 kilometers (41 miles) north of Tongan capital Nukan’alofa.

It covered the island nation, with approximately 100.000 inhabitants, in a layer of toxic ash, poisoned drinking water, destroyed crops, and completely destroyed at least two villages.

It killed at least three people in Tonga, too, while two beachgoers in Peru died as the waves reached the South American country.

That explosion, according to NASA, was “hundreds of times the mechanical energy equivalent to the Hiroshima nuclear explosion”


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the U.S. federal government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and space research. (wikipedia)

Hunga Tonga

Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai is a volcanic island in Tonga, located about 30 km south of the submarine volcano of Fonuafoʻou and 65 km north of Tongatapu, the country’s main island. (wikipedia)

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