UPDATED AT 2:35PM
Tonga Met confirmed that a small tsunami wave of of 0.05m (0.2ft) was monitored at a Nuku’alofa tidal gauge at local time 10:29am (UTC 2129). The Niutoputapu tidal gauge also recorded 0.05m at 11:30am.
Meanwhile, the NWS Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre reported that tsunami waves are being recorded in other Pacific Islands, with over half a metre at Norfolk Island, following a series of severe earthquakes in the Kermadec Fault this morning.
The size of the wave in Tonga was not alarming. Tonga Met had earlier cancelled its Tsunami Marine Warning, after a tsunami wave of less than 0.30cm was recorded at the Fishrock Tidal Gauge at Raoul Island at approximately 9:45am.
Stated Tonga Met: “Due to the tsunami wave being less than one foot it is expected that this tsunami no longer poses a threat to Tonga. Therefore, the Tsunami Marine Warning previously in force for Tonga is now cancelled. Ocean currents however around Marine Coastal Areas may be strong and erratic and special caution should be exercised.”
Tonga Met had issued a warning at 9:05am that a tsunami wave of up to 0.3m to1 metre was expected to arrive at Tonga’s coastline before 11:00am. The public were warned to keep away from marine coastal areas and beaches.
The tsunami was generated by magnitude 8.1 earthquake, at a depth of 10 kilometres, in the Kermadec Islands (Lat: 29.6 S Lon: 176.0 W) about 1000 kilometres north east of New Zealand.
Waves observed in Pacific Islands
At 1:25pm (0025 UTC) an update from the NWS Pacific Tsunami Warning Center Ewa Beach, Hawaii (#7) reported tsunami wave observations from around the Pacific Islands and New Zealand. Kingston in Norfolk Island has recorded the highest wave so far, with over half a metre. (0.56M or 1.8FT).
Biggest quake since 2019
The earthquake has captured international attention.
The 8.1 tremor was the third major earthquake in less than eight hours on the Kermadec Fault, which passes east of New Zealand.
A tsunami warning was in effect for New Zealand, and alerts were issued around the Pacific Islands and the Pacific Basin.
A magnitude 8.1 quake releases about 30 times more energy than a magnitude 7.0 quake. Reports say it’s the strongest quake to strike worldwide since May 26, 2019, when a magnitude 8.0 hit Peru.
Earthquake observers say that it is extremely unusual for three severe earthquakes to occur within a 300 mile radius of a point in less than eight hours.