Hawaii Braces As Tsunami Reaches IslandPlay
Tsunami waves swamped Hawaii beaches before dawn Friday but there have been no reports of any major damage after devastating Japan and sparking evacuations as far away as the U.S. western coast.
A magnitude 8.9 quake and 33-foot tsunami hit the northeast part of Japan spurring a tsunami warning for the entire Pacific, including areas as far away as South America, Hawaii and the entire U.S. West Coast.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said Kauai was the first of the Hawaiian islands hit by the tsunami. Waves about 7 feet high were recorded on Maui, and 3 feet in Oahu and Kauai.
Officials warned that the waves would continue and could become larger, and a scientist at the tsunami warning center said there was likely damage to mooring facilities and piers.
Adrienne LaFrance, a WBUR alum and current Weekend Edition host at Hawaii Public Radio, spoke with Morning Edition's Bob Oakes about how the islands prepare for tsunamis.
With reporting from WBUR’s Bob Oakes and The Associated Press.
This program aired on March 11, 2011.