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Tsunami Warning Dropped for Hawaii
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center downgraded the tsunami warning to an advisory just before 1 a.m., and Hawaii residents were allowed to return home.
The tsunami warning was issued for Hawaii 7:14 p.m., more than two hours after a 7.7-magnitude earthquake off British Columbia. Immediately after the earthquake, the warning center had said Hawaii was not under a tsunami threat from the quake, but may see strong or unusual currents and sea-level changes.
Center officials later revised their assessment after receiving more data and issued the warning that set Hawaii scrambling. Tsunami warning sirens sounded across the state and most people in inundation zones evacuated.
The center had predicted wave heights of 3 to 6 feet in some locations.
"The tsunami arrived about when we expected it should. It was a little smaller than we expected," a spokesman for the Center said last night just before lifting the advisory. He went on to say that we had at least four waves, about 12 minutes in duration, hit Hawaii since about 10:30 p.m.
The waves have not been higher than three feet above sea level, somewhat below our model predictions. The highest wave recorded measured about 2.6 feet above sea level in Kahului Harbor on Maui. Gauges initially recorded a 1.6 foot wave at Makapuu , on Oahu at about 10:30 p.m. Kahului Harbor recorded a similar sized wave about 20 minutes later. Smaller waves were recorded in Waianae, on Oahu and Hanalei on Kauai.