How the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha'apai volcanic eruption highlights the risk ...

How the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha'apai volcanic eruption highlights the risk ...
How the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha'apai volcanic eruption highlights the risk ...

In the aftermath of the chaotic Tongan volcanic eruption and tsunami, a volcanologist has warned Australia needs to be more prepared as it is in a region that could experience a far larger explosion without warning.

Australia needs to better coordinate early-warning systems and emergency services so reisdents can be ready in the unlikely event of a 'super colossal' eruption nearby, Heather Handley, a volcanologist from Monash University said.

At least three people died following the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha'apai eruption on Saturday which led to a tsunami hitting the Tongan archipelago and blanketing the islands with volcanic ash and debris.

Although a tsunami warning was issued for Australia on Saturday night, and authorities warned people in Sydney to stay out of the ocean, thousands ignored the plea on a warm Sunday.

In the aftermath of the chaotic Tongan volcanic eruption and tsunami, a volcanologist has warned Australia needs to be more prepared because we are in a region that could experience a far larger explosion (Pictured, a plume rises over Tonga after the underwater volcano Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai erupted in this satellite image)

In the aftermath of the chaotic Tongan volcanic eruption and tsunami, a volcanologist has warned Australia needs to be more prepared because we are in a region that could experience a far larger explosion (Pictured, a plume rises over Tonga after the underwater volcano Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai erupted in this satellite image)

Although a tsunami warning was issued for Australia on Saturday night, and authorities warned people in Sydney to stay out of the ocean, thousands ignored the plea on a warm Sunday

Although a tsunami warning was issued for Australia on Saturday night, and authorities warned people in Sydney to stay out of the ocean, thousands ignored the plea on a warm Sunday

Australia needs to better coordinate early-warning systems and emergency services so they could be ready in the unlikely event of a massive volcano erupting nearby, Heather Handley, a volcanologist from Monash University said

Australia needs to better coordinate early-warning systems and emergency services so they could be ready in the unlikely event of a massive volcano erupting nearby, Heather Handley, a volcanologist from Monash University said

The volcano risk near us - and in Australia

The Australian mainland has two 'active' volcanic regions, both of which have erupted since Australia was populated.

One centred on Mt Gambier in South Australia, which erupted around 5,000 years ago with similar force to Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha'apai, and the other, Kinrara in north-east Queensland.

Both would be less likely to produce a seven VEI rating.  

The most violent volcanic eruption in the last 70,000 years took place across the Tasman Sea at Taupo about 2,400 years ago.

It has erupted 28 times in 26,000 years, with the Oruanui eruption scoring an eight on the VEI scale. 

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Some of the damage in the Tonga archipelago is 'catastrophic', including on Atata and Mango islands and now a shortage of clean water threatens the health of thousands.

Although Hunga Tonga was one of the biggest eruptions of recent times and looked frightening in satellite images, it was four on Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI).

There are 'hundreds' of active volcanoes in the Asia-Pacific capable of reaching a seven on the VEI which could kill thousands and cause millions of dollars of damage, Ms

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