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Tonga volcano was bigger than Hiroshima bombing, NASA says

The Tonga volcanic eruption was massive. We are learning how massive it was

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An overview of the damage on Nomuka in the Tonga island group.

This satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows an overview of the damage on Nomuka in the Tonga island group on Jan. 20, 2022, after the Jan. 15 volcanic eruption and tsunami.

Associated Press

The volcanic eruption in Tonga was one of the biggest eruptions in history, and it’s not even close.

The news: The volcanic eruption in Tonga— which led to a massive tsunami — was deemed more powerful than the atomic bomb that the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, during World War II, according to NASA.

What they’re saying: “The blast released hundreds of times the equivalent mechanical energy of the Hiroshima nuclear explosion. For comparison, scientists estimate Mount St. Helens exploded in 1980 with 24 megatons and Krakatoa burst in 1883 with 200 megatons of energy,” according to NASA.

Flashback: The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization in Vienna, Austria — which monitors atomic readings and tests — found that the shockwaves from the underwater blast could be felt in Antarctica, NPR reported.

  • “Every single station picked it up,” Ronan Le Bras, a geophysicist with the organization, told NPR. “It’s the biggest thing that we’ve ever seen.”

What’s happening: Tonga said about 80% of people have been affected by the tsunami’s waves and falling ash.

  • This has displaced people from their homes and communities, according to BBC News.
  • Three people have died because of the tsunami as well.

How to help: There are plenty of ways to donate in order to help the people of Tonga right now.