Tonga volcanic eruption tsunami extremely unlikely to reach Taiwan: CWB

01/16/2022 03:53 PM
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Photo taken from facebook.com/tongametservice
Photo taken from facebook.com/tongametservice

Taipei, Jan. 16 (CNA) Shockwaves from a series of volcano eruptions near Tonga were detected by weather monitoring stations in Taipei, Hualien, and Taitung on last Saturday, but the chance of a tsunami reaching Taiwan is extremely unlikely due to the island's topography, CWB Director-General Cheng Ming-dean (鄭明典) said Sunday.

Tsunami waves surged ashore on the Pacific nation of Tonga on last Saturday after a powerful eruption of a nearby undersea volcano, triggering tsunami warnings across the Pacific Ocean from the U.S. west coast to Japan, with evacuation orders issued in some parts of Japan.

However, according to the CWB, the sea trench off Taiwan's eastern coast hinders waves traveling across the Pacific Ocean.

Meanwhile, although waves off the island's western side tend to move from the northeastern to the southwestern direction toward near the island, their strength is somewhat offset by ocean tides from the south, making the possibility that a tsunami would reach Taiwan from the west infinitesimally small.

In addition, there has been no tsunami signal related to the volcanic eruptions near Tonga detected around Taiwan despite the detection of shockwaves, according to the CWB.

The CWB will continue monitoring further development and update related information, it added.

(By Chang Hsiung-feng and Evelyn Kao)

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