Impressive views: Tongan government reluctant to name new island

The Tongan government was reluctant to name the newest volcanic island formed between the Hungas in the Friendly Islands in fear it would disappear soon.

The new island emerged after volcanic activities erupted in an area about 65 kilometres away from capital Nuku’alofa in January.

Tonga’s Justice Minister Hon Vuna Fāʻotusia told Kaniva News he did not think the government would name it unless it would receive a geological confirmation the new island would stay for a long time.

“Normally the king names new islands but the cabinet has no resolution yet to decide a name,” Fa’otusia said.

However, there were calls for the island to be named after Tonga’s first commoner, ‘Akilisi Pohiva, to be democratically elected to the premiership. Some suggested that it could be named after Tongan-New Zealand shot put Queen Valerie Adam because of her worldwide achievement in sport.

Last week amazing photos of the new island emerged on social media after three men arrived in the new-born island.

GP Orbassano, 63, an Italian who lived in Tonga more than 20 years ago took some photos of the island and sent them to media.

The island was formed after series of eruptions, that began in late 2014 and lasted about five weeks.

Tonga’s New volcanic island. Photo: GP Orbassano

The dimensions of the new island are about 1.1 miles (1.8 km) by 0.9 miles (1.5km), and that it rises about 328ft (100 metres) above the sea according to geologists.

The photographer Gianpiero Orbassano and Branko Sugar climbed and sat on top of the crater rim

Orbassano reportedly admitted that the climb was dangerous as a result of the excessive heat on the dark landscape.

The new volcanic island formed after ash and acid rain fell within 10km of the eruption.