The Pacific nation of Tonga was hit by a tsunami Saturday as large waves crashed ashore in coastal areas and people rushed to higher ground after a massive undersea volcano eruption, which was heard in neighboring countries, triggered the area's second tsunami in as many days.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or the extent of the damage as communications with the small nation remained problematic. Video posted to social media showed large waves washing ashore in coastal areas, swirling around homes and buildings.
New Zealand's military said it was monitoring the situation and remained on standby, ready to assist if asked.
"A 1.2 meter (4 feet) tsunami wave has been observed at Nukualofa," Australia's Bureau of Meteorology tweeted. The maximum tsunami wave recorded following Friday's explosion was 30 centimeters (11.8 inches).
The latest eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano came just a few hours after Friday's tsunami warning was lifted.
The eruption was so intense it was heard as "loud thunder sounds" in Fiji more than 800 kilometers (500 miles) away, officials in Suva said.
Mere Taufa said she was in her house getting ready for dinner when the volcano erupted.
"It was massive, the ground shook, our house was shaking. It came in waves. My younger brother thought bombs were exploding nearby," Taufa told the Stuff news website.
She said water filled their home minutes later and she saw the wall of a neighboring house collapse.
"We just knew straight away it was a tsunami. Just water gushing into our home.
"You could just hear screams everywhere, people screaming for safety, for everyone to get to higher ground."
The tsunami reached Japan late Saturday through early Sunday, and waves as high as three meters were possible, Japan's Meteorological Agency said, hours after a massive volcanic eruption near Tonga.
The agency said a 1.2 meter (about four feet) tsunami reached the remote southern island of Amami Oshima around 11:55 pm (1455 GMT) Saturday before other areas along Japan's Pacific coast observed smaller tsunami.
Tonga's King Tupou VI was reported to have been evacuated from the Royal Palace in Nuku'alofa and taken by a police convoy to a villa well away from the coastline.
The initial eruption lasted at least eight minutes and sent plumes of gas, ash and smoke several kilometers into the air. Residents in coastal areas were urged to head for higher ground.
Victorina Kioa of the Tonga Public Service Commission said Friday that people should "keep away from areas of warning, which are low-lying coastal areas, reefs and beaches."
Taaniela Kula, head of Tonga Geological Services, urged people to stay indoors or wear a mask if they were outside and to cover rainwater reservoirs and rainwater harvesting systems.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a "tsunami advisory" for American Samoa, saying there was a threat of "sea level fluctuations and strong ocean currents that could be a hazard along beaches."
The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano sits on an uninhabited island about 65 kilometers (40 miles) north of the Tongan capital Nuku'alofa.