Undersea volcanic eruption creates new Tongan island

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Photo: GeoNet

Scientists from the Tonga Geological Service released a report on Thursday documenting an undersea volcanic eruption that caused one island to sink, while creating a larger one in its place.

The new island is estimated to be over 300 feet wide and 1300 feet long. It sits about 400 feet to the west of the island that has now submerged beneath the surface.

The new island lies between Kao and Late in the Ha’apai group of islands to the north of the archipelago. The eruption that created the island went on for 18 days.

Five years ago, another Tongan island was formed due to submarine volcanic eruptions. Plants have since sprouted, and birds make regular stops there.

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