Following the deadly earthquake in Japan, tsunami waves have now reached the islands of Hawaii. According to CNN.com, the first set of waves that hit Hawaii were approximately 6 to 7 feet.
While a tsunami warning remains in effect, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center doubts there will be any significant damage to Hawaii other than to harbors and other coastal facilities.
Many Hawaiian residents are not taking any chances and those living close to the shoreline have evacuated to higher ground. Peter Carlisle, mayor of Honolulu, has reported he is not yet prepared to issue an “all clear.”
With waves being reported in the 6 to 7 foot range, in other areas of Hawaii such as Hilo the waves have only reached the 3 foot mark. Though forecasters have predicted that waves may reach as high as 9 feet and continue rolling in approximately every 15 minutes.
As well as Hawaii, many U.S. communities along the west coast are also on a tsunami warning. Areas of California may see waves as high as 7 feet for Port San Luis Harbor and up to 4 feet in Morro Bay. San Francisco is only expected to get waves no higher than 1 to 2 feet.
Due to the threat of a tsunami, the U.S. National Weather Service has issued a warning for over 50 countries and territories around the Pacific. A warning was also in effect as far north as Alaska and even British Columbia, Canada.
According to CNN.com, President Barack Obama has instructed the Federal Emergency Management Agency to be on alert and be prepared to assist Hawaii and other U.S. regions that may be affected by the disaster. President Obama has also stated the U.S. “stands ready to help the Japanese people” who have been affected by such a devastating natural catastrophe.
In February 2010, following an earthquake in Chile of a magnitude 8.9, Hawaii had a tsunami scare. A massive evacuation was put into effect. The warning was canceled two hours after the first set of waves reached the islands. The Coast Guard reported no significant damage to ports or waterways due to the effects of the tsunami.
While it cannot yet be known the extent of damage that may be inflicted due to the tsunami, communities along the West Coast as well as Hawaii remain on high alert. The mayor of San Francisco has issued a statement requesting citizens “to remain calm.”
Tsunami Waves Reach Hawaii, Eye West Coast