Savai’i Geologist warns of ash fallout from Tonga volcano

Tuapou Warren Jopling, a resident Geologist on the island of Savai’i in Samoa which was affected by coastal inundation warns that there may still be impact on Samoa.

“Depending on the wind direction from the South east, we should get some effect from the ash fallout,” Tuapou said.

He recalls that there was ash fallout on the Apolima strait, the area between the two main islands of Upolu and Savai’i, during previous eruptions of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano.

“The volcano has been active, but it is unusual to have this level of activity,” said Tuapou who has been studying and teaching the geology of the Polynesian group of islands to students on the island of Savai’i, as part of his retirement.

“In the previous eruptions of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai, there was noted ashfall in Samoa. Given the length of this explosion and the reach, there is a high possibility that it might happen with a South East wind. There was fallout in the first eruption. In the Apolima strait, not in Apia itself.”

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