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19 Mar, 2009 23:57

Underwater volcano spews smoke and ash into Pacific sky

An undersea volcano has erupted off the coast of Tonga in the South Pacific. Though the crater lies several hundred meters under the surface, it hasn't prevented plumes of ash and smoke from rising high into the sky.

Rated at magnitude 7.7, the eruption has triggered tsunami warnings for several neighbouring islands.

It is feared local beaches will also be covered with a blanket of black ash thrown up by the volcano.