UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday expressed his deep concern after reports of a tsunami and ash affecting Tonga following the eruption of an undersea volcano near the Pacific nation.
Tsunami warnings have been issued in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the United States.
"The United Nations offices in the Pacific are closely monitoring the situation and are on standby to provide support if requested. The secretary-general is grateful to countries that have already offered their support," Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for the secretary-general, said in a statement.
According to the Tonga Geological Services, a massive underwater volcano erupted just before sunset on Friday with plumes reaching more than 12 miles (19 km) above sea level. A cloud of ash and steam reached about 150 miles (241 km) across, an event captured by satellite images that have been shared by various meteorological agencies.
There was not immediate report of injuries or damage due to the nation's current lack of connectivity.