Atlanta 3/12/2011 12:14:27 AM
News / Nature

Tsunami Waves Hit Hawaii, No Major Damage Expected

Tsunami waves generated by an 8.9 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Japan hit Hawaii early Friday morning around 3 o’clock. Kauai was the first of the islands to see waves, the largest of which was 3 feet high. Oahu also saw 3 foot waves while 6 foot waves were recorded in Maui.

Forecasters warned the waves, which are rolling in about every 15 minutes, could increase in height. Waves up to 9 feet are predicted for some areas. Officials do not expect major damages.

Tsunami warning sirens were set off hours before the waves were expected to hit. A tsunami warning is in effect until 7 a.m. local time. Many residents of coastal areas were advised to evacuate to shelters on higher ground.

President Barack Obama said he is monitoring the situation. "We are asking all our citizens in the affected region to listen to their state and local officials. I have instructed FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) to be ready to assist Hawaii and the rest of the US states and territories that could be affected,” he said in a statement.


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