Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano too far away to touch Thailand: govt
The eruption of the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai underwater volcano near the South Pacific kingdom of Tonga on Friday and Saturday has had no effect on Thailand, deputy government spokesperson Traisulee Traisoranakul said on Sunday.
The volcano first erupted on Friday, sending an enormous plume of ash some 19 kilometres into the air, before it erupted again on Saturday evening. The Saturday eruption sent a 1.2-metre-high tsunami wave toward the coast of Tonga’s capital Nuku'alofa.
It also triggered tsunami warnings and advisories for several countries across the Pacific, including American Samoa, New Zealand, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Australia, Japan and the US West Coast from California to Alaska.
“The volcano is about 9,500km away from Narathiwat’s coast and has, therefore, not had any effect on Thailand,” she said. “However, the National Disaster Warning Centre is monitoring the situation and will provide updates regularly.”
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, meanwhile, has instructed relevant agencies to keep in touch with countries in the Pacific region that may be affected by the tsunami and promptly issue warnings to Thais living there.