Tsunami advisory issued for U.S. West Coast following undersea volcanic eruption

A tsunami warning has been issued for Hawaii and parts of the US Pacific coast after an underwater volcano spectacularly erupted near Tonga on Saturday.

California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and the Canadian province of British Columbia could all be affected, the National Tsunami Warning Center said in a bulletin.

Residents who live near beaches, ports, marinas and other coastal areas should move away from the coast and head inland or uphill, the bulletin added.

In Hawaii, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported waves ranging from a foot in Nawiliwili, Kauai, to 2.7 feet ashore in Hanalei.

The recommendation was issued after the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano erupted near Tonga early on Saturday, sending powerful waves onto the main island of Tongatapu.

The eruption lasted 10 to 15 minutes and threw up ash plumes over 8 miles, according to the Tonga Geological Survey.

Scientists observed massive explosions, thunder and lightning near the volcano after it erupted early Friday, news site Matangi Tonga reported.

It was the latest in a series of eruptions seen in the region since early Friday.

More than 1,400 miles away in New Zealand, officials warned of storm surges from the outbreak. The National Emergency Management Agency said some parts of the country could expect “strong and unusual currents and unpredictable coastal waves.”

The New Zealand military also said it was monitoring the situation and remained on standby to assist if asked.

Tsunami warnings have also been issued for parts of Australia, where waves several feet high have been observed in the Norfolk Islands off the east coast of the country.

Large waves have also been observed in Vanuatu and other South Pacific countries.

Associated Press contributed.

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