Tongan volcanic eruption affects Waikawa Beach

In the early evening of Saturday 15 January 2022 many people at Waikawa Beach, and around Aotearoa New Zealand, were wondering what the thumping explosion noises they could hear were. It turned out they were from the massive eruption of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano in Tonga — a one in 1,000 year event!

Since then have come warnings about coastal surges or tsunamis in various parts of the world — for NZ’s north and east coast in particular.

But even here at Waikawa Beach we saw unusual surges in the river. Watch this YouTube video from Sue Culver (linked with permission):

Did you know Tonga is about 2,500 Km away. The power of that eruption, that we could hear it at Waikawa Beach!

Update 21 January 2022: note the Comment by John Brown that this tidal surge was probably not related to the tsunami, but was rather a small tidal bore.

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Waikawa Beach or Manakau

New Zealand

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