top of page
  • stsang8

GeoNet Survey about Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai tsunami

On 14 January 2022, Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai began erupting. As this eruption displaced a large amount of water, a tsunami was generated. The tsunami reached many parts of the Pacific Ocean. There appear to be very few fatalities, but the long-term impacts to places like Tonga and Tai Tokerau will still be significant. But perhaps you already knew this or are wondering how this relates to you...

The tsunami and shock wave generated by the Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai eruption reached Aotearoa in the evening. In fact, our Rū's (seismometers in schools) picked up the shockwave! Take a look below:

As you can see in the bottom four lines of these data files from schools in Rotorua and Taupō, the data is suddenly quite noisy! This data helps us with our research about the eruption and shockwave but does not tell us much about the tsunami or what you experienced.

Because the tsunami was less than a metre onshore and arrived during low tide on Aotearoa's east coast, any natural impacts of the tsunami (like high debris lines) would have been quickly washed away by high tide. Thus, one of our standard ways of collecting data is not possible in this tsunami.

BUT what about all of you? Many Kiwis live by the coast and may have seen something. Was the water very calm before the tsunami arrived? Did the water appear bubbly or higher than a normal high tide as it arrived? Did you hear the sonic boom? Where were you? We would love to learn from you by hearing about your experiences. Can you help us, please?

Our friends at GeoNet have created a survey to hear about your experiences. You can complete it here:

Thanks for your help!

7 views0 comments


bottom of page