UPDATE: Watch the HawaiiNewsNow.Com Livestream
Warning sirens are sounding across Hawaii as a tsunami, measuring between one and two metres, is expected to hit the islands following a 7.7 earthquake off Canada’s Pacific coast.
The United States Geological Survey said the quake hit the Queen Charlotte Islands at 8.05pm on Saturday local time (4.05pm Sunday, NZT) and was centred 155km south of Masset, British Columbia.
Gerard Fryer, senior geophysicist at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre, told CNN that Hawaii could expect waves between one to two metres high. “We are recommending coastal evacuation,” he said.
The centre said the first tsunami could hit the islands by about 10.30pm local time (9.30pm Sunday NZT).
Fryer told CNN the waves would not be as significant as those generated by the devastating earthquake that struck Japan in March 2011, leaving thousands dead.
Hawaii news website staradvertiser.com said tsunami warning sirens have sounded across Hawaii and officials have told people in inundation zones to evacuate immediately.
“A tsunami has been generated that could cause damage along coastlines of all islands in the state of Hawaii,” the centre said in a statement. “Urgent action should be taken to protect lives and property.”
The centre originally said there was no threat to the islands, but a warning was later issued and remains in effect until 7pm Sunday (6pm Monday, NZT). A small craft advisory is in effect until Sunday morning.
New Zealand Civil Defence spokesperson Ian Maclean said there was no tsunami threat to New Zealand following the earthquake.
Tsunami Warning in Effect: (Google Public Alerts)
A tsunami Warning is now in effect which includes the coastal areas of British Columbia and Alaska from the north tip of Vancouver Island, British Columbia to Cape Decision, Alaska (85 miles SE of Sitka). – Event details: Preliminary magnitude 7.1 (Mwp) earthquake / Lat: 52.863, Lon: -131.942 at 2012-10-28T03:04:11Z Tsunami warnings mean that a tsunami with significant widespread inundation is expected, or occurring. Warnings indicate that widespread dangerous coastal flooding accompanied by powerful currents is possible and may continue for several hours after the initial wave arrival.
Earthquake Details: (Google Public Alerts)
Location: 126 miles (202 km) SSW of Prince Rupert, BC, Canada; 164 miles (263 km) S of Metlakatla, AK; 172 miles (277 km) SSE of Hydaburg, AK; 452 miles (727 km) NW of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Source: U.S. Geological Survey