Fonualei is an uninhabited 5 km2 volcanic island close to
the kingdom of Tonga. It was seen by Don Francisco Mourelle de la Rua
on the La Princesa on 26 February 1781. He reported the island to
be barren from eruptions, and called it for that reason Amargura
(Bitterness in Spanish).
A major eruption in 1846, starting 11 June, destroyed much of the
Vavaʻu and spread ash around for at least a year. Some
sources claim that three other neighbouring volcanoes, Late, Tokū and
another, erupted at the same time. This is probably a mistake by
passing ships who misidentified the erupting island.
The closest island to
Fonualei is Tokū 19.7 km to the southeast.
List of volcanoes in Tonga
^ "Fonualei". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution.
^ Sharp, Andrew, The discovery of the Pacific Islands Oxford 1960,
D. Gerstle; Gentle people, into the heart of
Vavaʻu 1781-1973; Tofua
Dirk HR Spennemann, The June 1846 Eruption of
Fonualei Volcano, Tonga.
An Historical Analysis. The Johnstone Centre. Report Nº 196.
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