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Tsunami warning issued for Hawaii following massive earthquake in Chile

An 8.8 magnitude earthquake rocked Chile Saturday morning triggering a tsunami warning for Hawaii.

Image

In this image released by the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration on Saturday, the tsunami travel time is projected following a huge 8.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked Chile early Saturday. The earthquake triggered a tsunami warning around the Pacific rim of fire, officials said.

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Hawaii braced for a potentially damaging tsunami Saturday, generated by the massive earthquake struck central Chile.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami warning - its highest alert - for Hawaii, where incoming waves could cause damage along the coastlines across the island chain. A warning was also in effect for Guam, American Samoa and dozens of other Pacific islands.

The first waves were expected to arrive in Hawaii at 11:19 a.m. Saturday (4:19 p.m. EST).

In Pictures: Early images from earthquake in Chile

The state planned to sound warning sirens statewide at 6 a.m. to alert residents and tourists of the incoming tsunami, said Shelly Ichishita, spokeswoman for state civil defense.

A lower-grade tsunami advisory was in effect for the coast of California and an Alaskan coastal area from Kodiak to Attu islands.

The Ewa Beach, Hawaii-based center called for "urgent action to protect lives and property" in Hawaii, which is among 53 nations and territories subject to tsunami warnings.

"The main thing is we want everyone to take this event seriously," said Charles McCreery, director of the center.

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