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Volcano eruption created shockwave that passed through Colorado

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Posted at 1:41 PM, Jan 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-15 15:58:57-05

DENVER — Did you feel it? An undersea volcano that erupted near the Pacific nation of Tonga caused a shockwave to form and it passed through Colorado early Saturday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

The shockwave caused a subtle rise in pressure and then a sharp drop in a matter of minutes. It was measured by a barometer reading station at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Flat Iron campus a little after 6 a.m. Saturday.

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The eruption also prompted the NWS to issue a tsunami advisory for the entire west coast of the U.S. It was issued just before 6 a.m. MT. The agency warned people to stay away from beaches and harbors. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The NWS Boulder office tweeted this satellite image of the eruption, showing the initial wave spreading outwards.

The Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano is located about 40 miles north of Tonga's capital. A series of eruptions in 2014 and 2015 disrupted international air travel to the Pacific archipelago for several days.

The Associated Press contributed to this report