Following the massive 8.9 earthquake that devastated Japan with a most deadly tsunami, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre has issued a strong alert for Hawaii, the entire United States West Coast and several countries along the Pacific Ocean.
Tsunami waves swamped Hawaii beaches and brushed the U.S. western coast Friday but didn't immediately cause major damage after devastating Japan and sparking evacuations throughout the Pacific. Water rushed up on roadways and into hotel lobbies on the Big Island and low-lying areas in Maui were flooded as 7-foot waves crashed ashore. Smaller waves hit the U.S. Western Coast and beaches were closed as fishermen fired up their boats and left harbors to ride out the swell. Scientists warned that the first tsunami waves are not always the strongest, and officials said people in Hawaii and along the West Coast should watch for strong currents and heed calls for evacuations. The tsunami warning was downgraded to an advisory in Hawaii, and Gov. Neil Abercrombie said the islands were "fortunate almost beyond words." "All of us had that feeling that Hawaii was just the most blessed place on the face of the Earth today," he said. The tsunami, spawned by an 8.9-magnitude earthquake in Japan, slammed the eastern coast of Japan, sweeping away boats, cars, homes and people as widespread fires burned out of control. It raced across the Pacific at 500 mph — as fast as a jetliner — before hitting Hawaii and the West Coast. Sirens sounded for hours before dawn up and roadways and beaches were mostly empty as the tsunami struck. By midmorning, waves were crashing against the 30-foot bluffs in Crescent City, Calif., where a tsunami killed 11 people in 1964. - MSNBC."We're preparing for the worst and we're praying for the best," said John Cummings, spokesman for the Honolulu emergency management department. "Tsunami waves, because of their long length, wrap around our islands very efficiently." More waves are expected to strike the Pacific Coast of the US between the morning to afternoon on Friday. The coasts of Oregon, California, Washington, Alaska, and Canada's western coastline, are all areas of main concern in the Western part of the world.
Here is a video of the tsunami reaching the shores of Hawaii: