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Tonga tsunami triggers marine warnings

A tsunami generated by an undersea volcano erupting near Tonga has triggered marine warnings for Australia’s east coast and land warnings for Norfolk Island and Lord Howe Island.

The Bureau of Meteorology said the Hunga Tonga-Hung Ha’apai volcano erupted at 3.10pm AEDT on Saturday and sea level observations confirmed a tsunami had been generated.

Land warnings for Norfolk Island and Lord Howe Island were issued, while marine warnings were current for all coastal areas of NSW and large parts of the Queensland, Victorian and Tasmanian coasts, according to a BOM statement on Saturday evening.

In Queensland the marine warning was issued for Sandy Cape to Point Danger including the Fraser Island coast, Sunshine Coast waters, Moreton Bay and Gold Coast waters.

In Victoria a marine warning was in place from 9.30pm AEDT from Lakes Entrance to 60 nautical miles east of Gabo Island including the East Gippsland coast.

The marine warning also covers Macquarie Island and parts of Tasmania including the northern tip of Flinders Island to South East Cape, including east of Flinders Island, Banks Strait and Franklin Sound, the upper east coast, the lower east coast, the southeast coast, D’Entrecasteaux Channel, Derwent Estuary, Frederick Henry Bay, Norfolk Bay and Storm Bay.

“People in areas with threat of land inundation and flooding are strongly advised by emergency authorities to go to higher ground or at least one kilometre inland,” the statement said.

“In areas with a threat to the marine environment only, emergency authorities advise people to get out of the water and move away from the immediate water’s edge of harbours, coastal estuaries, rock platforms and beaches.”

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