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Highest point
Elevation180 m (590 ft) [1]
ListingList of volcanoes in Tonga
Coordinates18°01′26″S 174°19′30″W / 18.024°S 174.325°W / -18.024; -174.325
LocationTonga Islands
Mountain typeStratovolcano
Last eruptionJune 1957

Fonualei is an uninhabited 5 km2 volcanic island close to Vavaʻu in the kingdom of Tonga. It was seen by Don Francisco Mourelle de la Rua on the La Princesa on 26 February 1781.[2] 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 vegetation of 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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Fonualei". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2010-02-27.
  2. ^ Sharp, Andrew, The discovery of the Pacific Islands Oxford 1960, p.149