New island emerges from the deep
These are some of the first photos of a newly formed island at Tonga that has risen from the sea following an underwater volcanic eruption. The photographer, Gianpiero Orbassano, says the surface of the island is fragile and slippery, and when he visited it was very hot. But he has predicted that the island, a two-hour boat ride from Tonga’s capital Nuku’alofa, will become a “great attraction for tourists”.
The island is about 250-metres high and has a land mass 1.8 kilometres by 1.5 kilometres, according to some reports.
It appeared in January after the Hunga Tonga volcano erupted and has become the 177th island in the Tonga archipelago.
But scientists have cautioned that it may eventually erode back into the sea and may not last more than several months.
They have also cautioned against visiting, saying the surface is not stable and that further volcanic activity may take place.