Tonga – Threatened by acid rain after a volcanic eruption

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A toxic cloud formed by a volcanic eruption in the Tonga Islands could cause acid rain across the Pacific kingdom, threatening to poison drinking water and cause damage to the skin and eyes of residents, officials warned today. situations.

The isolated Hanga Tonga Hanga Hapei volcano erupted on Monday, creating an 18-kilometer-high ash column, the Tonga Geological Survey (TGS) said.

The phenomenon did not cause any injuries, but TGS warned yesterday that the ash and gases from the volcano could cause acid rain as they mix with water in the atmosphere.

He advised the residents not to collect rainwater until recently.

“The symptoms of exposure to acid rain are itching, skin irritation and blurred vision without the ability to distinguish colors in case of eye exposure,” he explained.

The volcano is located on an uninhabited island, about 65 km north of Nuqualofa, the capital of Tonga.

It entered an eruption phase for the last time in 2015, when a new island was created around its caldera (crater).

Airlines were advised to avoid the area until further notice, which forced Air New Zealand to cancel a flight from Auckland to Nuqualofa on Tuesday.

With information from ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ

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