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How big was the Tonga eruption?

by M. Sharma & S. Scarr, Jan 21, 2022 in ReutersGraphics

The explosive eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano may be one of the largest recorded in such detail. The blast was visible from space, with images of the massive ash plume going viral over the following days. But just how big was it?

The underwater volcano erupted with a deafening explosion on Jan. 15, triggering deadly tsunamis, covering islands in ash, and knocking out communications for Tonga’s 105,000 people

The event was captured in astonishing detail by satellites including the NOAA GOES-West satellite, shown below.