The biggest earthquake to hit Japan in recorded history sent a series of tsunami waves across the pacific stopping by Hawaii on its way to the U.S west coast. A tsunami warning continues in effect as an ocean surge of one to three feet is anticipated.
A full coastal evacuation is underway in Hawaii as the first waves arrive and raise sea levels. Touching the North island of Oahu and moving down the island chain, the massive waves are anticipated to disrupt communications, transportation and power grids.
Hawaii, though is somewhat prepared for unusual surges in ocean levels, with first-hand experience just over a year ago when a tsunami struck Hawaii after a 8.8-magnitude Chile earthquake.
CNN’s Chad Myers warns this is nothing line a wave you might surf.
“A five foot wave heading ashore can go miles inland, causing untold damage” which is the fear of the US Coast Guard, preparing for the worst as the wall of water heads toward the coast of North America.
U.S. Coast Guard rescue crews are making preparations throughout the Main Hawaiian Islands to provide post-tsunami support. Coast Guard cutter and aircraft crews are positioning themselves to be ready to conduct response and survey missions as soon as it is safe.
“Ships transiting coastal areas fronting the Pacific Ocean [are advised] to take maximum precautionary measures and/or to take shelter as necessary, and to continue to monitor further information on alert level,” Coast Guard commandant Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo said earlier in a statement sent by text to media outlets.
Much stronger than the earthquake that hit New Zealand just last month, the magnitude 8.9 offshore quake in Japan that occurred earlier today was followed by more than a dozen aftershocks of more than magnitude 6.0. Areas along a 1,300-mile stretch of coastline were shaken by violent tremors that reached as far away as Tokyo, hundreds of miles from the epicenter.
In Tokyo flights have been canceled including Nippon, Virgin, British Airways, Lufthansa, Air France and Malaysia Airlines which have have all canceled flights to and from both of Tokyo’s airports.
Japan’s All Nippon Airways Co. told the Wall Street Journal that “131 domestic and international flights were canceled, grounding 32,700 passengers. Including flights which changed destinations, the earthquake affected 162 flights and 37,800 passengers”
Photo AP/Huffington Post