Underwater volcanic eruption creates island while sinking another

An island was created in the Pacific Ocean near Tonga after an undersea eruption. A small island sunk in the process. (Twitter)

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When it comes to islands it’s all about balance.

That was the case in the Pacific Ocean near Tonga when an underwater volcanic eruption sprouted a new island while demolishing another in the process.

According to news outlet Matangi Tonga Online, the undersea eruption caused the former island of Lateiki to sink while a new island of the same name was created simultaneously.

The new landmass measures 99 metres wide and 399 metres long and is situated 120 metres west of its sunken predecessor.

The submerged Lateiki island first appeared near Tonga in 1995.

In a tweet posted Monday, New Zealand geological hazard information site GeoNet showed off satellite images of the area.

“Since mid-Oct we’ve been tracking the #Lateiki (#Metis Shoal) #eruption with satellite imagery,” GeoNet wrote. “By Nov. 1 an elongated island has appeared at the main focus of activity.”

GeoNet stated in the last set of images that the “1995 dome” – the original Lateiki island – “appears to be gone.”

The five satellite images, taken over the last month, showed the positions of the two islands.

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