Last week’s eruption of the volcano near the Pacific island nation of Tonga was 600 times more powerful than the nuke dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, in World War II. As a result, the eruption was so loud that many Tongans went deaf after the first explosion.
“The first explosion…our ears were ringing and we couldn’t even hear each other, so all we do is pointing to our families to get up, get ready to run,” Marian Kupu, a journalist on Tonga, told Reuters.
The eruption was so loud that it could be heard across the world, even thousands of miles away in Alaska.
“This might be the loudest eruption since Krakatau in 1883,” Michael Poland, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey, told NPR.
On Tuesday, the first satellite images shared by Maxar Technologies showed the tiny island nation is smothered in volcanic ash, and building structures were destroyed after a tsunami.
Days later, with limited communications due to a severed undersea communications cable between Tonga and Fiji, pictures showed the devastation on city streets.
New Zealand’s 1 News reveals the first look of the streets of Nuku’alofa, Tonga’s capital, coated with ash.
Areas on the water were utterly devastated by the tsunami
The island’s airport was cleared of ash and fixed on Thursday, allowing New Zealand and Australian military transport planes to deliver generators, hygiene supplies, freshwater, and communications equipment.
More from 1 News on the first view of devestated Tonga.