Hawaii tsunami smaller than feared; advisory canceled

Residents and visitors in Oahu, Hawaii, watched the water level in the Ala Wai Harbor, waiting for a tsunami.
Eugene Tanner/Associated Press
Residents and visitors in Oahu, Hawaii, watched the water level in the Ala Wai Harbor, waiting for a tsunami.

HONOLULU — Officials in Hawaii canceled a tsunami ­advisory for the state’s coastline early Sunday, clearing the way for beaches and harbors to reopen after widespread fears of waves generated from a powerful earthquake off the coast of Canada.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center lifted its tsunami advisory Sunday morning just before 4 a.m., three hours after downgrading from a warning and less than six hours after the waves first hit the islands.

Center officials said wave heights were diminishing, though swimmers and boaters should be careful of strong or unusual currents.


The biggest waves — about 5 feet high — appeared to hit Maui. A popular triathlon set for the island was expected to go on as planned, with county lifeguards giving the OK for a 1-mile ocean swim.

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There were no immediate reports of damage, though one person died in a fatal crash near a road that was closed ­because of the threat near ­Oahu’s north shore. Governor Neil Abercrombie said the state was lucky to avoid more severe surges.

The National Weather Service canceled tsunami advisories for Canada, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California.

The magnitude-7.7 earthquake struck off the west coast of Canada on Saturday night, but there were no reports of major damage. Residents in parts of British Columbia were evacuated, but the province appeared to escape the biggest quake in Canada since 1949 largely unscathed.

The US Geological Survey said the powerful quake hit the Queen Charlotte Islands at a depth of about 3 miles and was centered 96 miles south of Masset, British Columbia. It was felt across a wide area in British Columbia, both on its Pacific islands and on the mainland.


At first, officials said Hawaii was not in any danger of a tsunami from the earthquake, which sparked tsunami warnings for southern Alaska and western Canada.

Associated Press