The Marquesas Islands in the north of French Polynesia are on red alert as the tsunami is expected to arrive within the next hour.
All traffic is banned and people have been moved to higher ground as waves of up to three meters are expected.
An alert is in place for the rest of the territory, with people in Tahiti reporting to have moved away from the coast.
The city of Papeete is reported to be empty, with all shops closed.
The airport of Tahiti has also been closed.
Passengers who have just arrived in Tahiti have been moved to higher ground.