Hawaii on alert after Japan earthquake

Speed of Tsunami across Pacific Basin. Source: Sky News

By Susannah Radford

In the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake, a 4.5 magnitude earthquake has just shaken Hawaii’s Big Island.  Residents in the low-lying areas of the islands have been ordered to evacuate to higher ground as the tsunami waves are expected to hit around 3am local time.  Tourists staying at the world-famous Waikiki beach are also being evacuated.

Time is of the essence.  John Cummings III, spokesman for the Honolulu Department of Emergency Management told Yahoo news that, “Tsunamis can travel at speeds of 500 mph, as fast as a jetliner. Tsunami warnings are issued due to the imminent threat of a tsunami. Waves could hit the western coast of the United States between 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. PST Friday.”

The whole of the West Cost of America and South America are now on tsunami alert. Hawaii has closed its airport and has ordered evacuations.

People can call the Foreign Office Helpline on +44 (0) 207 008 0000.