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Underwater Volcano Blows Near Tonga

Spewing clouds of smoke, ash and steam thousands of feet into the sky, these dramatic images and video  (below) show the raw power of an undersea volcano erupting.The spectacular columns blasted out of the South Pacific yesterday six miles off the coast of Tonga's main island Tongatapu. The eruption can be seen clearly from the capital, Nuku'alofa, although residents only reported seeing smoke rising from the sea on Wednesday, two days after it is believed to have begun

But authorities said today that the eruption does not pose any danger to islanders at this stage, and there have been no reports of fish or other animals being affected.No warnings have been issued to the coastal villages close to the volcano, which is one of 36 undersea volcanoes clustered in that area. The situation is being helped by trade winds which continue to blow gas and steam away from the island.

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