Tsunami fails to form, Kaua‘i spared damage

National Weather Service officials cancelled a tsunami watch for Hawai‘i, as of 12:14 p.m. Thursday.

“Based on information available, there is no tsunami threat to Hawai‘i,” the NWS spokesman announced.

Weather service officials issued a tsunami watch for Hawai‘i effective 11:11 a.m. Thursday morning.

The threat came from an earthquake with a 7.9 magnitude that occurred at 9:50 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time on Thursday morning in Eastern Honshu, Japan (please see the story on A4).

County Civil Defense Agency and other emergency personnel were notified, and monitored the situation.

The Kaua‘i community was asked to begin thinking about possible evacuation routes from low-lying areas, especially along the North Shore and Westside where a tsunami generated from the quake would have likely struck.

The last major tsunami to strike Kaua‘i arrived in 1957, following another devastating tsunami in 1946. The run-up of the coastal waters reached up to some 53 feet on Kaua‘i and arrived without much warning. Today, buoy sensors located in Pacific Ocean waters help track and time the arrival of a tsunami.

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