Hawaii under tsunami watch after Japan quake


UPDATE: Tsunami warning cancelled at 9:23 p.m.

A magnitude 7.9 earthquake centered about 1,000 miles north of Japan and just off Russia’s Kuril Islands has led the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) to issue a tsunami watch for Hawaii, and a warning for coastal areas of Russia and Japan, as well as Midway, Wake, and the Northern Marianas islands. “It is not known that a tsunami was generated,” reads the PTWC advisory. “This warning is based only on the earthquake evaluation. An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines near the epicenter within minutes and more distant coastlines within hours.”

The earthquake hit at about 6:20 p.m. Hawaii Time (2:23 p.m. local time at the epicenter). If a tsunami was generated, the PTWC estimates it will reach Honolulu at around 12:40 a.m.

The West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center is issuing separate bulletins on the quake and tsunami threats for Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California, as well as British Columbia.

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