by Corryn Wetzel/Smithsonianmag.com
A massive underwater volcano near the South Pacific island nation of Tonga erupted on January 15, spewing smoke into the sky and triggering tsunami advisories across the Pacific. Now, thousands of Tongans are without power and water, and disrupted communication and air travel have made it difficult to assess where help is needed most. It is still too early to assess most of the damage on the ground.
The blast and associated tsunami caused “significant damage” along the western coast of the main island of Tongatapu, according to the New Zealand High Commission in Nuku’alofa. “A thick layer of ash remains across Tongatapu,” the Commission said in a statement.
The blast was a “once-in-a-millenium” event for the volcano, explains Shane Cronin, a professor in volcanology at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, for CNN.
“It takes roughly 900-1000 years for the Hunga volcano to fill up with magma, which cools and starts to crystallize, producing large amounts of gas pressure inside the magma,” Cronin writes for CNN. “As gases start to build up pressure, the magma becomes unstable. Think of it like putting too many bubbles into a champagne bottle — eventually, the bottle will break.”
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.
She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – one daughter-in-law; Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with her husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescues.