12 Mar 2011

Tsunami alert lifted in French Polynesia

10:25 am on 12 March 2011

The maximum tsunami alert in French Polynesia, issued following the devastating earthquake in Japan, has now been lifted.

However, a tsunami alert still remains enforce for the Marquesas Islands.

AFP reports that waves of up to 3 metres were detected in the Marquesas.

Some houses were flooded on the island of Nuku Hiva, but no injuries or major damage have been reported.

Reports say the tsunami waves triggered by the earthquake in Japan pushed a wall of water 30 metres inland on the island of Ua Pou in the Marquesas islands.

Radio reports say the wave, which entered the bay of Haka Hau, caused no serious damage.

The authorities warned that the island group could see waves of about three meters but an official says the wave measured about half a meter.

Reports from Tahiti say at the Papenoo surf beach, the sea retreated and the waves inundated beachfront gardens.

There are reports of confusion on Mooera where tourists wanted to return to their beachfront accommodation after the first wave was only minor.

Schools have been closed for the day.

Flights from Tahiti to the Marquesas have been cancelled.