An underwater volcano off Tonga was spewing ash high into the air on Tuesday ” 13 January, 2015, causing several carriers to suspend air travel to the South Pacific island nation and turning the surrounding ocean blood red, residents and officials said.

The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai underwater volcano, about 65km north of the capital Nuku’alofa, was sending volcanic ash up to 4,500m into the air, the Wellington Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) said.