Request for observations following the Tongan eruption and tsunami

Published: Fri Jan 21 2022 12:00 PM

We are interested in your observations of the sea and coastal areas following the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai eruption on 15 January 2022. We would also like to know about "booming" sounds heard around the time of the eruption Saturday evening.

Our researchers would love to hear from you if you noticed any unusual behaviours of the sea or coastal areas in the hours and days following the eruption, or have photos and videos of this happening. We are also interested in experiences from people who heard the ‘booming’ sounds that travelled around the world during the eruption. Please follow the link below to share these with us.


The data we collect could be used in the New Zealand historical tsunami database in our write-up about these events. This information can help improve tsunami forecasts and can assist in education about tsunami. Providing any personal data is optional, your data will be used for research purposes and will be kept anonymous.

More information on the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai eruption:

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai eruption: About the tsunami

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai eruption: About the eruption

DART network proves invaluable in assessing tsunami threat following the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption

There are different types of tsunami warning, both official and natural. Knowing what to look out for and being prepared is the best way to keep you and your whānau safe.

Types of tsunami warning. Source: National Emergency Management Agency.

Types of tsunami warning. Source: National Emergency Management Agency.

And remember, if you feel shaking, Drop Cover and Hold to protect yourself from the earthquake first. Then if it’s Long or Strong, Get Gone. Evacuate up to higher ground and away from the coast.

NEMA (National Emergency Management Agency) have a great website with information on what to do before, during and after a tsunami. There you can also find tsunami evacuation zone maps for around New Zealand, and what supplies you need in an emergency.

Media contact: 021 574 541 or