Hawaii 'Dodged a Bullet' on Tsunami

Waves reach islands, but little damage is reported
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 27, 2010 4:05 PM CST
Hawaii 'Dodged a Bullet' on Tsunami
Ala Moana Beach Park sits empty Saturday in Honolulu.   (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

A tsunami triggered by the Chilean earthquake sent a surge of water ashore in Hawaii, California, and islands in the South Pacific today as the waves continued onto Alaska and parts of Asia. There were no immediate reports of widespread damage, injuries, or deaths in the US or in the Pacific islands, but a tsunami that swamped a village on an island off Chile killed at least 5 people and left 11 missing.

In Hawaii, water began pulling away from shore off Hilo Bay on the Big Island just before noon, exposing reefs and sending dark streaks of muddy, sandy water offshore. The tsunami waves arrived later and smaller than originally predicted. Authorities cautioned they would last for hours but lifted the official warning. "We dodged a bullet," said a geophysist for the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. The tsunami could gain strength as it approached Japan.
(More Pacific Tsunami Warning Center stories.)

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