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Hawaii tsunami: Smaller waves than predicted after Canada quake

Hawaii tsunami: Initial tsunami waves are small. But Hawaii residents got a good test of tsunami preparedness in the wake of Saturday's magnitude 7.7 earthquake off Canada.


US Geological Survey map of the magnitude 7.7 earthquake that struck near the Queen Charlotte Islands Saturday evening.


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The first waves of a tsunami hitting Hawaii on Saturday night were smaller than expected, roughly three hours after evacuations were ordered for coastal areas threatened after a powerful earthquake struck off Canada.

Gerard Fryer, a geologist tracking the tsunami for the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, said the largest wave in the first 45 minutes of the tsunami was measured in Maui at more than 5 feet, about 2 feet higher than normal sea levels.

State and local officials warned residents and tourists not to go back to inundation zones until an all-clear is given, though no major damage was reported.

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At first, officials said Hawaii wasn't in any danger of a tsunami after the 7.7-magnitude earthquake rattled the western coast of North America Saturday night, sparking tsunami warnings for southern Alaska and western Canada.

Later, officials issued a warning for Hawaii as well, saying there had been a change in sea readings. About the same time, a tsunami advisory was issued for a 450-mile stretch of U.S. coast running from north of San Francisco to central Oregon.


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