Earlier, a page in the Matangi Tonga newspaper reported that scientists had observed massive eruptions, thunderstorms and lightning near the volcano earlier in the day on Friday.
The site said the satellite images show ash, steam and air up to 5 km rising in the atmosphere up to about 20 km.
Meteorological Services in Tonga reports that a tsunami alert has been issued throughout Tonga.
A Twitter user known as Dr Faka’iloatonga Taumoefolau posted a video showing the waves crashing ashore.
“I could hear the volcano, it sounded like violence,” he wrote.
“Rain ashes and small stones, darkness covers the sky,” he said in a letter.
According to the US Emergency Alert Twitter account, a “severe tsunami” was caused by the blast, and a tsunami alert was issued in American Samoa.
The US StormWatch article, meanwhile, described the blast as “one of the most violent” to be filmed on a satellite.
Fijian TV reporter Jesse Tuisinu said on Twitter at 6.40pm (4:40 AEDT) that Tonga was “really dark”, sharing a video showing people trying to get to a safe place.
He also said that tsunami waves are beginning to hit Fiji, after an emergency alert was issued in the country.
Even as far away as New Zealand, authorities warned of the approaching hurricane.
The National Emergency Management Agency said some parts of New Zealand could expect “strong and unusual waves as well as unpredictable coastal waves after a major volcanic eruption.”
There is no tsunami threat in Australia here.
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