I was hurrying through the rooms this morning getting my kids ready for school when I heard the newscaster say a tsunami was hitting the United States. I thought I heard wrong, but then I took a second look at the news stations.
Overnight an 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit Japan, and repercussions will be felt in Hawaii and possibly our West Coast.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center estimated that the first tsunami wave would arrive in Hawaii at roughly 3 a.m. Hawaii-Aleutian Standard time Friday (which is a little over 8am Eastern time). Separate warnings were issued covering the coastal areas of California and Oregon.
Warnings don’t necessarily mean that a tsunami is imminent. Rather when a warning is issued, all residents in the area who are near the beach or in low-lying regions should move immediately inland to higher ground.
According to Market Watch the timing of the tsunamis are set to hit are as follows:
Wave heights are difficult to forecast and are amplified by an irregular shoreline, the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said in an alert. Forecast amplitudes above sea level varied from around 10 centimeters to as much as 2.5 meters (around 8 feet), according to data on the group’s website.
If a tsunami strikes, it would be expected to hit Newport, Ore., at about 7:26 a.m. local time, or 10:26 a.m. Eastern time, and San Francisco at about 8:08 a.m. local time, or 11:08 a.m. Eastern time, according to estimates from the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center.
President Barack Obama urged residents to stay tuned to the news and local warnings: “We are asking all our citizens in the affected region to listen to their state and local officials as I have instructed the Federal Emergency Management Agency to be ready to assist Hawaii and the rest of the U.S. states and territories that could be affected.”