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Tsunami watch ordered in Hawaii after 8.1 New Zealand quake; impact on California under review

Beach in Kaikoura, New Zealand. (Bernard Spragg/Flickr)

A tsunami watch has been ordered for Hawaii after a magnitude 8.1 earthquake struck in the Pacific Ocean northeast of New Zealand.

The U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center is reviewing data to determine the threat of a tsunami in California and the rest of the West Coast after a magnitude 8.1 earthquake struck northeast of New Zealand.

The earthquake, which struck Thursday at 11:28 a.m. Pacific time, was being reviewed for the threat to California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and British Columbia.

A tsunami watch was ordered for the state of Hawaii at 12:24 p.m. Pacific time. If tsunami waves do hit Hawaii, the earliest time a tsunami could hit the state is at 4:35 p.m. local time, or 2:35 p.m. Pacific time.

A tsunami advisory was issued for the American Samoa, and officials urged people in or near the ocean to move out of the water and away from beaches and harbors. “Based on all available data, there is a threat to American Samoa of sea level fluctuations and strong ocean currents that could be a hazard along beaches, in harbors, and in coastal waters.”

New Zealand authorities have issued a tsunami alert for sections of the north island, ordering people in several sections of the island to evacuate immediately.

Prior to the the magnitude 8.1 quake, there was a magnitude 7.4 quake in the same region at 9:41 a.m. Pacific time.

The epicenter of the magnitude 8.1 earthquake occurred about 675 miles northeast of Auckland, nearly 4,000 miles southwest of Honolulu and about 6,000 miles away from Los Angeles.


(c) 2021 the Los Angeles Times

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