Two women drown in Peru due to Tonga volcanic eruption

People at a beach following an evacuation on the coastline in Chile due to an underwater volcano eruption on the island of Tonga. PHOTO: REUTERS

LIMA (AFP) - Two women drowned on a beach in northern Peru due to "anomalous waves" registered after the volcanic eruption in Tonga, more than 10,000 kilometres away, local emergency services said on Sunday (Jan 16).

The two women drowned on Saturday in Lambayeque.

Peru's government on Saturday closed 22 Pacific ports in the country's north and center due to the waves.

The Center for national emergency operations said the unusually strong waves were "due to the volcanic activity in north Nuku'alofa, Tonga." Saturday's eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano was so powerful that it was felt around the world and provoked tsunamis in the Pacific.

Southern Peru, roughly 10,600 kilometres away, recorded light flooding in some coastal areas where dozens of people needed to be rescued.

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