A tsunami has been generated that could cause damage along the coastlines of all islands in the state of Hawaii, according to the NOAA, with the estimated arrival time in Hawaii of the first tsunami wave being 3:07 AM local time Friday.
The tsunami warning follows a massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake striking off the northeast coast of Japan.
According to the NOAA, in Hawaii, “urgent action should be taken to protect lives and propety.”
A tsunami is a series of long ocean waves, where each individual wave crest can last 5 to 15 minutes or more and extensively flood coastal areas. The danger can continue for many hours after the initial was as subsequent waves arrive, the NOAA warned.
Tsunami wave heights cannot be predicted and the first wave may not be the largest.
According to the NOAA, tsunami waves efficiently wrape around islands, meaning that all shores are at risk no matter which direction they face. Additionally, the trough of a tsunami wave may temporarily expose the seafloor but the area will quickly flood again.
Extremely strong and unusual nearshore currents can accompany a tsunami. Debris picked up and carried by a tsunami amplifies its destructive power
Simultaneous high tides or high surf can significantly increase the tusunami hazard, the NOAA noted.