Tongans warned of acid rain after volcanic eruption | Inquirer News

Tongans warned of acid rain after volcanic eruption

/ 03:08 PM December 22, 2021

Tongans warned of acid rain after volcanic eruption

This picture taken on December 21, 2021, shows white gaseous clouds rising from the Hunga Ha’apai eruption seen from the Patangata coastline near Tongan capital Nuku’alofa. – A huge dust cloud spewed out when a volcano erupted in Tonga this week could result in showers of acid rain across the Pacific kingdom, emergency authorities have warned. (Photo by Mary Lyn FONUA / AFP)

Nuku’alofa, Tonga A toxic cloud spewing from an erupting volcano in Tonga could dump acid rainfall across the Pacific kingdom, potentially poisoning drinking water and damaging people’s skin and eyes, emergency services have warned.

The remote Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano erupted Monday, sending plumes 18 kilometres (11 miles) into the air, Tonga Geological Services (TGS) said.


Police reported no injuries from the eruption but TGS said late Tuesday that the dust and gas could result in acidic rainfall if mixed with water in the atmosphere.


It advised residents to remove guttering systems from their rainwater storage systems until the all-clear was given.

“Symptoms of exposure to acid rain are itchiness and skin irritation, blurry and discoloration of vision if exposed to the eye,” it said.

“If eyes or skin are exposed to acidic rain, please see a medical doctor or physician for appropriate treatment.”

The volcano sits on an uninhabited island about 65 kilometers (41 miles) north of the Tongan capital Nuku’alofa.

The volcano last came to life in 2015, creating a new island structure on its caldera.

An aviation code red was issued after the eruption, advising airlines to avoid the area, resulting in Air New Zealand canceling a flight from Auckland to Nuku’alofa on Tuesday.

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TAGS: acid rain, disaster, Eruption, Tonga, Volcano

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