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NEW INFO: Hawaii Tsunami Advisory Cancelled

HONOLULU (AP) -- Officials in Hawaii have canceled a tsunami advisory for the state's coastline, paving 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 early Sunday just before 4 a.m. local time, three hours after downgrading from a warning and less than six hours after the waves first hit the islands.

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 an ocean swim.

There are no immediate reports of damage, though one person died in a fatal crash near a road that was closed because of the threat.


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Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie says a tsunami warning that spurred coastal evacuations statewide is being downgraded to a tsunami advisory, ending the threat of serious damage.

Abercrombie said early Sunday that the Aloha State was lucky to avoid more severe surges after a powerful earthquake struck off the coast of Canada.

Abercrombie says beaches and harbors are still closed statewide.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service canceled tsunami advisories for Canada and Oregon, leaving northern California as the only spot in North America still under a tsunami advisory.

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A geologist tracking a tsunami in Hawaii says the first waves hitting shore are smaller than expected.

Gerard Fryer of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said Saturday night the largest wave was measured at 5 feet in Maui in the first 45 minutes.

Fryer says it's starting to look like a statewide evacuation from coastal areas was unnecessary. But it could be several hours before the warning is canceled.

The National Weather Service says there are reports of water quickly receding in bays, including Hilo Bay on the Big Island.

Tsunami waves are stronger and different from normal beach waves. Fryer says 3-foot tsunami waves would be strong enough to flood two blocks in from shore.

The warning comes after a powerful earthquake struck off the coast of Canada.

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Residents and tourists along Hawaii's coasts are evacuating to higher ground in response to a tsunami warning.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued the warning for all Hawaiian islands Saturday night, hours after a 7.7-magnitude earthquake rocked an island off Canada's west coast. Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie proclaimed an emergency, mobilizing extra safety measures.

Officials originally said there was no threat to Hawaii but changed that after taking new sea level readings.

Warning sirens blared while residents drove away from coasts and tourists were evacuated from lower floors of beachside hotels. Incoming bus routes were shut off into Waikiki and police shut down a Halloween block party in Honolulu.

The center says the first tsunami wave could hit the islands by about 10:30 p.m. local time (1:30 a.m. PDT Sunday).

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A tsunami warning for southern Alaska and northern British Columbia has been downgraded to an advisory, while a warning has been issued for Hawaii.

In addition, the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center says parts of coastal Oregon and northern California have been placed under a tsunami advisory.

The alerts came after the U.S. Geological Survey said the 7.7-magnitude earthquake hit in the Queen Charlotte Islands area Saturday night.

A tsunami warning means an area is likely to be hit by a wave, while an advisory means an area could be hit.

A small tsunami was barely noticeable in Craig, Alaska, where a four-inch wave was recorded.


The first wave from a small tsunami has been reported in a southeast Alaska community.

State officials say a wave with a height of about 4 inches was measured in Craig late Saturday evening.

That was smaller than earlier forecasts, which said the wave could have been up to 1 foot.

Parts of southeast Alaska and the Canadian coast remain under a tsunami warning.

The warning was sparked by a strong earthquake Saturday night that shook off the west coast of Canada. The U.S. Geological Survey said the 7.7-magnitude earthquake hit in the Queen Charlotte Islands area, followed by a 5.8-magnitude aftershock several minutes later.


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A magnitude-7.7 earthquake has struck off the coast of western Canada and a tsunami warning has been issued. There are no immediate reports of damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey in Colorado says the quake hit the Queen Charlotte Islands at 11:14 p.m. Sunday local time and was centered 96 miles south of Masset, British Columbia.

The National Weather Service has issued a warning for coastal areas of British Columbia, southern Alaska, Northern California, Oregon and Washington state. It says the warning area includes Craig and Sitka, Alaska

The USGS says the 7.7-magnitude quake shook the area and was then followed by a 5.8-magnitude aftershock several minutes later.


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