Hawaii prepares for dangerous currents

2014-04-02 22:29
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kailua-Kona - Hawaii residents were urged on Wednesday to stay clear of beaches and avoid swimming in the ocean as the first waves generated by Chile's 8.2 magnitude earthquake arrived at the island chain.

The state remained under a tsunami advisory issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre but experts said they did not expect inland flooding or evacuations to be ordered.

The advisory cautioned of possible sea level changes and strong currents that could pose a danger to swimmers and boaters.

The first waves arrived on the island of Hawaii, the largest in the chain, on schedule around 03:24 local time, and there were no early reports of damage, said Shelly Kunishige a spokesperson with Hawaii State Civil Defence.

"We are just receiving reports from volunteers giving wave heights and so far everything appears to be pretty normal," said Kunishige.

On the popular Waikiki beach in Honolulu, waves were spotted at about 45cm, a normal height for the area, she said.

Larger surf and strong currents were a possibility as wave energy from the earthquake off Chile's northern coast continued to arrive through the morning, experts said.

"We're sure the waves are not going to be large enough to cause any flooding," Gerard Fryer, senior geophysicist for the centre, told reporters late on Tuesday when the advisory was issued. "However, we're worried there may be dangerous currents so we want people off the beach and out of the water."

The advisory is less significant than a tsunami warning, which would be prompted by expectations of widespread flooding.

Fryer said the real concern was strong currents at beaches and marinas.

"Occasionally you get a larger wave so it sweeps up the beach or something," he said. "If you're not ready for it you can get into difficulty, and if you're in the water you can get banged about."

The advisory for Hawaii will last until around 06:00 or 07:00 local time on Wednesday, Fryer said.

In Chile, six people have died following the massive quake that struck the north of the Andean country, Interior Minister Rodrigo Penailillo said.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said the quake generated a large tsunami with the biggest wave reported at more than 2m. The Chilean navy said the first big wave hit the country's coast within 45 minutes of the earthquake.

Read more on:    hawaii  |  weather

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.