Friday, November 10, 2006

New island rises off Tonga

A new volcanic island rose out of the Pacific Ocean, the Matangi Tonga news website reported Wednesday.

The island is about one mile in diameter with a crater and four peaks about one day off Neiafu in the South Pacific Ocean.

A new volcanic island on the Methis Shoal in Tonga in the South Pacific Ocean that emerged in July 1995, shown in a photo released by the Royal New Zealand Navy. The Pacific Ocean has given birth to a new volcanic island near Tonga, according to ocean-going eyewitnesses.(AFP/RNZN/File)
A new volcanic island that formed in July, 1995 off Tonga in the South Pacific Ocean seen in a Royal New Zealand Navy photo. AFP/RNZN/File photo via Yahoo News.

Crewmembers of the yacht Maiken reported seeing a "vast, many-miles-wide belt of densely packed pumice" on approaching the newly-formed island.

Neither Tonga's Ministry of Lands nor the Tonga Defense Service would confirm the creation of a new island.