12 Mar 2011

Tsunami waves reach Hawaii, California

8:39 pm on 12 March 2011

Some coastal areas of Hawaii and California were evacuated following the deadly earthquake in Japan that generated a tsunami.

Waves exceeding 3 metres have been recorded in Hawaii following a massive earthquake off the coast of Japan which triggered a tsunami.

An oceanographer Pacific Tsunami Centre in Hawaii, Dailin Wang told Morning Report waves exceeding 3 metres were recorded in one location in Hawaii, and a 2.5 metre wave was recorded in another.

Warning sirens had been sounded and evacuations from coastal areas had been ordered. Heavy traffic was reported leaving the main hotel and tourist hub in Honolulu.


Thousands of residents were being evacuated along the California coast, including about 6,000 near the town of Santa Cruz.

In California's Del Norte County, a 25-year-old man was confirmed dead after being swept into the Pacific Ocean near the mouth of the Klamath River.

The man and two friends were taking photographs of the incoming tsunami waves.

About 35 boats and harbour docks were damaged in the northern Californian city of Crescent City, 560km north of San Francisco.

Emergency officials said two surges hit the city, the first about 1 metre and the second somewhat higher.

Evacuations were taking place in five counties in California, the state's emergency management agency says.

Authorities in the neighbouring state of Oregon closed schools along the coast and advised residents to evacuate, Reuters reported.

Central and South America

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre has the Central and South American states of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras, Chile, Ecuador, Colomobia and Peru listed on its tsunami warning.

Mexico's Scientific Research Centre says the tsunami sent initial waves 50cm high onto the county's Pacific coast, but subsequent waves could be as high as 2 metres.

A tsunami warning was also issued for Russia.