Posted on October 28, 2012
October 28, 2012 – CANADA - After
barreling across the Pacific Ocean for hours, a tsunami spawned by an
earthquake in Canada struck the Hawaiian Islands. Waves between 3 and 7
feet were expected to lash the islands beginning about 10:28 p.m.
Saturday (4:28 a.m. Sunday ET), the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.
The first waves to hit Honolulu didn’t seem much stronger than usual.
But scientists said don’t be fooled by the initial waves, which often
aren’t the biggest. “It’s not just one wave, it’s a succession of
waves,” Gerard Fryer, senior geophysicist at the center, told reporters.
“The following waves, I am sure, will be bigger.” But he noted that the
tsunami will not be as significant as the devastating quake and tsunami
that killed thousands in Japan in March 2011. Local television showed
images of bumper-to-bumper traffic on roads leading from the coast to
inner ground. About 80,000 people live in evacuations zones in the
island of Oahu, the island where Honolulu is located. John Cummings,
spokesman for Honolulu Emergency Management, said officials have opened
26 centers for evacuees. “All islands and all shorelines will be
affected when it comes in,” Cummings said. Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle
urged residents who are already on higher ground to not clog traffic.
Officials expressed concerns about emergency vehicles getting by in
heavy traffic. But the tsunami warning came at an unfortunate time —
when thousands of revelers packed streets in Honolulu for the annual
Hallowbaloo festival. Even Hawaiians accustomed to tsunami warnings
spared no effort in bracing for the worst. Honolulu resident Victoria
Shioi filled her bathtub with water, set her refrigerator to the coldest
setting and gathered candles in case of water or power outages. The
tsunami was spawned by an earthquake in western British Columbia,
prompting a local tsunami warning and sending some residents toward
higher ground. “A (magnitude) 7.7 is a big, hefty earthquake — not
something you can ignore,” Fryer said. “It definitely would have done
some damage if it had been under a city.” Instead, the quake struck
about 139 kilometers (86 miles) south of Masset on British Columbia’s
Queen Charlotte Islands. No major damage was reported. The Alaska
Tsunami Warning Center issued a warning for western British Columbia
from Vancouver to the southern panhandle of Alaska. Canadians as far as
Prince Rupert on mainland British Columbia felt the quake. –CNN
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