Tsunami waves caused by a giant underwater volcanic eruption have hit the Pacific country of Tonga.
Social media footage showed water washing through a church and several homes, and witnesses said ash was falling over the capital, Nuku’alofa.
A tsunami warning sent residents scrambling to higher ground.
The eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai volcano was heard across the South Pacific, reportedly as far as New Zealand and Australia.
Tonga’s capital lies just 65km north of the volcano, on the country’s main island of Tongatapu.
One Tonga resident, Mere Taufa, said the eruption hit as her family was preparing for dinner, and her younger brother thought bombs were exploding nearby.
Prof Shane Cronin, a volcanologist at the University of Auckland, said the eruption was one of the biggest in Tonga in the past 30 years.
“This is a pretty big event – it’s one of the more significant eruptions of the last decade at least,” he told the BBC.
“The most remarkable thing about it is how rapidly and violently it’s spread. This one was larger, a much wider lateral spread, much more ash was produced. I expect there to be many centimetres of ash that have been deposited on Tonga.”
The initial eight-minute eruption was so violent it could be heard as “loud thunder sounds” in Fiji, more than 800km (500 miles) away, according to officials in the capital, Suva. The Fijian Government has issued a tsunami advisory and opened evacuation centres for people in low-lying coastal areas.
Vanuatu, another island nation in the Pacific, issued a similar warning.