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New Lateiki Island formed after eruption

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 07/11/2019

Information from the Geological Services states a new island has formed in place of the Late Iki Island which has sunk below the surface. The Lateiki Island (a.k.a Metis Shoal) October 2019 eruption lasted about 18 days, between the 13th – 31st October 2019. Satellite imagery of the 1st November 2019, has revealed the disappearance of the island that last formed in the 1995 eruption and the emergence of a new island over three times bigger than the 1995 remnant.

The new island form of Lateiki emerges 120m to the west of the 1995 submerged remnant. The island is about 100m wide and 400m long as estimated from the Landsat-8 imagery taken on the 1st November 2019.

The island is located midway between “Kao” and “Late Islands”, about 44km SSW of Late Island.

Although the eruption has ceased the island may still be emitting gas, such as Sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide causing the discoloration of seawater in the area. Exposure to these gases and discoloration of the seawater are harmless but best cleaned before having meals.

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