Tsunami warning issued in Japan after Tonga eruption

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Fishing boats are seen overturned or partially submerged on Sunday in a port in Muroto, Kochi Prefecture, following a tsunami triggered by a volcanic eruption in Tonga.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami warning Sunday for the southwestern islands of Amami and Tokara after the Pacific nation of Tonga was hit by a big undersea volcanic eruption Saturday.

The maximum height of the tsunami, unleashed by the eruption, is forecast to reach 3 meters in the Amami and Tokara chains, Kagoshima Prefecture.

A tsunami advisory was issued for the Pacific coast of the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido to Kagoshima, as well as for Okinawa Prefecture, and the Izu and Ogasawara chains in the Pacific.

In the Kominato district on the island of Amami Oshima, Kagoshima Prefecture, a 1.2-meter tsunami was observed at 11:55 p.m. Saturday.

Later, a 90-centimeter tsunami was observed in Kuji, Iwate Prefecture, and in Tosa-Shimizu, Kochi Prefecture.

On Sunday, a liaison office was set up at the crisis management center of the Prime Minister’s Office.

Shortly past 7 p.m. Saturday, the agency said that Japan was unlikely to receive any tsunami damage due to the eruption.

But it switched to issuing the tsunami warning and advisory because tsunami waves reached areas near Japan. Tsunami waves may have been magnified due to changes in atmospheric pressure in wide areas caused by the eruption, according to the agency.