What the Tonga volcano’s past tells us about what to expect next

On January 15, an underwater volcano in the island nation of Tonga erupted with the explosive force of a nuclear bomb, and it may not be done just yet.

The eruption of Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano in the South Pacific launched a towering, mushroom-shaped cloud of ash and dust at least 20 kilometers into the atmosphere — and possibly as high as 39 kilometers by one estimate. The blast sent shock waves that are still rippling through the atmosphere a week later.

Images show ash caked on Tonga islands, coating buildings, clinging to crops and probably contaminating water supplies. The power of the explosion also triggered a rare volcanic tsunami that

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