29 Oct 2012

Hawaii tsunami warning cancelled after smaller than expected waves

11:47 am on 29 October 2012

Hawaii state officials cancelled a tsunami advisory prompted by a powerful earthquake off the Canadian coast that sent thousands of people fleeing to higher ground, but did not cause major damage.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre says the advisory was cancelled after the anticipated waves rolled in lower than expected.

The earthquake and tsunami manager for Hawaii State Civil Defense, Kevin Richards, says water, gas and power lines were not damaged by the smaller-than-expected waves.

Tens of thousands of people fled shoreline areas on Saturday night following siren blasts and a tsunami warning from the center that waves as tall as 1.8 metres could hit in some places.

Scientists downgraded the warning to an advisory and there were no reports of injuries, serious flooding or damage.

The highest wave measured 80 centimetres and hit Kahului harbor on the island of Maui.