A 4-foot tsunami hit the Pacific nation of Tonga on Saturday and prompted advisories along the west coasts of the United States and Canada after an underwater volcano exploded.
Other nearby islands and coastal areas of New Zealand also were put under tsunami alerts after waves crashed into Tonga’s largest island, flooding coastal roads, radio reports said.
Floodwaters inundated sections of the capital, Nuku’alofa, including the main street, waterfront properties and the palace grounds of Tonga’s King Topou VI, who was evacuated.
A convoy of police and and troops rushed the king to a villa at Mata Ki Eua and residents fled to higher ground as ash spewed over the capital, RNZ reported, citing local media.
In the United States, the National Weather Service issued tsunami advisories for coastal areas of the United States and Canada stretching from Alaska’s Aleutian Islands chain to the California-Mexico border.
A tsunami advisory means a dangerous wave is on the way, with strong and unusual currents expected along coasts and in bays, marinas and harbors. People in the affected areas are urged to move to high ground and away from the shore.
A similar advisory for Hawaii was canceled Saturday afternoon.
Beaches, harbors and piers in Orange County, Calif., south of Los Angeles, were closed early Saturday, though no significant damage was expected.
In Canada, a tsunami advisory was issued for the parts of British Columbia, including the province’s north and central coast and areas of Vancouver Island.