Tsunami hits Tonga after giant volcano eruption

Tsunami waves caused by a giant underwater volcanic eruption have hit the Pacific country of Tonga, the BBC reports.

Social media footage showed water washing through a church and several homes, and witnesses said ash was falling over the capital, Nuku’alofa.

Tsunami warnings across the region sent residents scrambling to higher ground.

The eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai volcano was heard across the South Pacific, and even as far away as the US.

Many parts of Tonga, whose capital is just 65km south of the eruption, are experiencing a near-total blackout of power, phone lines and internet services. The extent of any injuries or damage is still unclear.

Videos on social media showed traffic jams as people tried to flee low-lying areas by car.

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