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WELLINGTON, New Zealand – A volcanic eruption in Tonga has created a new island — although scientists say it could soon disappear.
The volcano has been erupting for a month in the ocean about 65 kilometers (40 miles) northwest of the capital, Nuku'alofa. Last week it disrupted international air travel to the Pacific archipelago for several days.
New Zealand volcanologist Nico Fournier said Wednesday he traveled by boat close to the new island to take a look. He says it's made mainly of scoria and its dimensions are about 1.8 kilometers (1.1 miles) by 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles), and that it rises about 100 meters (109 yards) above the sea.
He says once the volcano stops erupting, it will likely take the ocean no more than a few months to erode the island entirely.