MANILA, Jan 17 (Mabuhay) — The Philippine Embassy in Wellington is currently monitoring the situation of close to 800 Filipinos in Tonga, Samoa, and Fiji after the eruption of an underwater volcano on Saturday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

In a statement Sunday, the DFA said the eruption triggered tsunamis and strong waves reached Tonga, Samoa, and Fiji, and concerned residents are moving to higher grounds.

It added there were disruptions to communication systems in those areas.

“Coordination efforts with local authorities and community leaders are ongoing to ascertain the situation on the ground and the condition of the Filipinos in Tonga (87), Samoa (300), and Fiji (400),” the DFA said.

Meanwhile, tsunami advisories were also issued for the coastal areas of New Zealand, Japan, and the US western states.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said there were no reports of deaths or injuries in Tonga related to the eruption as of Sunday because communication lines — telephone and internet connection — in the affected areas were severely damaged.

On Saturday, an underwater volcano off Tonga erupted. The eruption triggered warnings of 1.2-meter tsunami waves.

People were ordered to evacuate the shorelines in Tonga. (MNS)

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