Please get your mind out of the gutter. The second word in this headline is Nature. Even with climate change pushing natural disasters to new limits, Mother Nature still has the ability to shock, as it did when the Hunga-Tonga Hunga-Ha’apai volcano erupted, sent a damaging tsunami to Tonga, and impacted countries across the world. “The event literally touched every corner of the globe as a pressure wave spread out in all directions to complete a full circumnavigation.” My wife and kids are Samoan, so I have a pretty deep interest in the region. When I saw the news about the blast and the wave start to spread on Twitter, I dialed into a Samoan radio station, where people were racing to higher land, and calling in to say they heard what was probably the biggest volcanic explosion in 30 years, loud and clear. And Samoa is 550 miles from Tonga. Meanwhile, all the way in the Bay Area, we had flooding in Santa Cruz, unusually large waves in Sausalito, and surfers had to be rescued from Ocean Beach. “More than 10,000km away, two people drowned off a beach in northern Peru amid abnormally high waves.” There was so much ash in the sky, it’s taken days for the New Zealand military to begin to assess the heavy damage in Tonga, where entire communities are covered in thick ash. From The Conversation: Why the volcanic eruption in Tonga was so violent, and what to expect next. Here are some more photos from the scene.

One of the reasons why we’re only getting a first glimpse of the damage in Tonga is because “the undersea cable connecting its internet to the rest of the world has been destroyed by the blast.” Tonga’s volcano blast cut it off from the world. Here’s what it will take to get it reconnected.