The incredible power of the eruption of the Tonga volcano on January 15, 2022, reverberated around the world.
Satellites in space captured the action even before the eruption started, showing the island sinking and then later the mushroom cloud and pressure waves expanding outward.
Approximately 200,000 lightning events struck near Tonga in the first hour of the eruption.
People as far away as Australia and across the ocean in Alaska and Canada heard the sonic boom. That’s the audio of this bang:
Barometers around the world recorded the pressure wave from the South Pacific explosion. Below from Switzerland:
The massive shockwave of the Hunga Tonga volcano eruption today, Jan 15th (04 UTC) blasted around the world with 1100 km/h and was crossing Europe 15 hours later. Numerous weather stations are recording astonishing 2-3 mbar pressure changes during the passage of several waves. pic.twitter.com/g5cT7R7lj2— severe-weather.EU (@severeweatherEU) January 15, 2022
And tsunami waves affected shores all the way on the west coast of the United States.
Sonic booms in Alaska
Multiple reports of #HungaTonga volcanic explosion(s) being heard this morning...in Alaska.— Roger Edwards (@SkyPixWeather) January 15, 2022
Distance from Hunga Tonga to Anchorage is 5824 statute miles (9373 km).
From NWS Anchorage Facebook feed... pic.twitter.com/ZYtjoG6sWH
The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcanic eruption was heard here in Alaska starting around 3:30 a.m. - 6,000 miles from the volcano! Infrasound measurements from the @alaska_avo confirm that it was indeed coincident with the volcanic pressure wave. Special thanks to Dr. David Fee. pic.twitter.com/Wp4tnwiaud— NWS Alaska Region (@NWSAlaska) January 15, 2022
Incredible speed of the shockwave
The pressure wave from the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai eruption arrived here in Anchorage at 3:30 a.m. AKST. This is exactly 7 hours after the eruption. The volcano is 5,820 miles away (9,360 km). That means it travelled at 830 mph (1,340 kmh). pic.twitter.com/R3rgzAbo6r— Brian Brettschneider (@Climatologist49) January 15, 2022
Tsunami waves in Oregon and California
Tsunami - Timelapse taken by Ventura Isle Marina, Safe Harbor Marina from approximately 8:00 am until 10:00 am #tsunami @NWSLosAngeles @nws #ventura #california #skywarn #wavetalkers pic.twitter.com/MbG9QKtYgk— Wave Talkers (@wavetalkers) January 15, 2022
Here’s the Monterey, CA tidal gauge clearly showing 2’+ tsunami pulse from the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcanic eruption in Tonga. Red line is observed water level, blue is predicted tide. Subtracting the two gives us tsunami depth/height. pic.twitter.com/AqIzHenQPf— Ryan Hollister (@phaneritic) January 15, 2022
Pressure wave crosses the US and globe
Fascinating depiction of the pressure wave associated with the Tonga eruption as it moved across the US today.— NWS Milwaukee (@NWSMilwaukee) January 15, 2022
RT @akrherz: 15 minute pressure altimeter change via ASOS NWS/MADIS 5 minute interval data. Shows the shockwave from the #Tongaeruption. pic.twitter.com/qdArMC008Y
Using a difference overlay, I can accentuate that shockwave as it traverses the entire globe. The antipode of Tonga is over Northern Africa. #tonga #HungaTongaHungaHaapai @NWS @USGSVolcanoes pic.twitter.com/BNS0DsfLrm— science.out.there (@ScienceOutThere) January 15, 2022
The Tonga volcano eruption from space
Dramatic changes in Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai captured by @planet from mid-Nov until this morning—only a couple of hours before the most recent eruption.#TongaVolcano #Tonga #TongaEruption pic.twitter.com/fATanmdIg8— Dr. Tanya Harrison (@tanyaofmars) January 15, 2022
A final video of today's explosive #Tonga #eruption.— Simon Proud (@simon_sat) January 15, 2022
This shows data from all three weather satellites covering the area. From left to right: Korea's GK-2A, Japan's Himawari-8 and the US GOES-17.
Fascinating to see the different perspectives. pic.twitter.com/aB02QaayWx
The Tonga volcano and ensuing tsunami were felt around the world. The January 15, 2022, event affected the shores of places as far away as Oregon while the pressure wave moved across the globe.
The Krakatoa eruption of 1883 caused shock waves 10,000 times more powerful than that of an hydrogen bomb and shattered eardrums of sailors 40 miles away.
This terrifying noise is that of the Krakatoa volcanic eruption on August, 27, 1883:
NOTE: The volcanic explosion is also one of the earliest sound recordings of all time since the phonograph was only invented in 1877