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Last Updated: Thursday March 19 2009 13:55 GMT

Huge earthquake underneath sea

Underwater volcano

Massive volcano erupts in sea

An underwater volcano has sent spurts of steam and ash shooting up into the sky near Tonga in the South Pacific.

It's thought the eruption was triggered by a big earthquake deep beneath the ocean bed.

Scientists sailed closed to the eruption to check out the eruption which began two days ago. Tonga is halfway between Australia and Tahiti.

Officials say there's no danger to people living near the coast of the island and no one has been evacuated.

It's on part of the Pacific "ring of fire" a volcanic zone where continental plates in the earth's crust collide.