Tsunami Warning Canceled After Quake in the Pacific

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center canceled within less than an hour its original tsunami warning for The Kermedec Islands, Tonga, and New Zealand Wednesday.

The Honolulu-based center had issued a “non-expanding regional tsunami warning for a part of the pacific” after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake jolted the Kermadec Islands in the South Pacific Tuesday.

In its initial statement, PTWC said that though there was no “destructive tsunami threat to Hawaii” some coastal areas in the state “could experience small non-destructive sea level changes and strong or unusual currents lasting up to several hours.”

However, within less than an hour it canceled the tsunami warning. “Sea level readings indicate a tsunami was generated. It may have been destructive along coasts near the earthquake epicenter.

"No tsunami threat exists for other coastal areas in the pacific although some other areas may experience small sea level changes. The tsunami warning is now cancelled for all areas covered by this center,” the latter statement said.

The epicenter of the earthquake was 101 miles east of Raoul Island, Kermadec Islands; 567 miles south of Tuku'alofa, Tonga; and 736 miles northeast of Auckland, New Zealand, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The depth was a relatively shallow 20 kilometers. A tsunami was formed after the quake, the survey said. Sixty-cm- to 1-meter-tall wave have been detected at Raoul Island.

New Zealand's Civil Defense also canceled a tsunami warning it had earlier issued.

Following the quake in the Pacific Ocean, the Alaska-based West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center had earlier said in a statement: “A strong earthquake has occurred, but a tsunami IS NOT expected along the California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, or Alaska coast. NO tsunami warning, watch or advisory is in effect for these areas.”