Japan’s Katrina: Massive quake/tsunami, US tsunami warnings

A major earthquake and massive tsunami devastated parts of eastern Japan Friday.

NOAA’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says the magnitude of the quake was a massive 8.9 magnitude. The quake was centered near east coast of Honshu, Japan’s largest island.

According to preliminary reports from the USGS, this may have been the 5th strongest quake in the world since 1900!

Here are the details from the USGS.

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There are reports of a massive tsunami wave that has caused massive devastation as it inundated miles of land near the Pacific Ocean in eastern Japan. Here’s the incredible video from MSNBC.

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Tsunami warnings have been issued for Hawaii.The waves could reach Hawaii by about 3am Hawaii time, and could hit the USA West Coast early Friday morning. It is not known how severe the tsunami waves will be as they hit Hawaii or the USA west coast.

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Tsunami warnings issued for Hawaii.

Here’s the warning for Hawaii from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

A TSUNAMI HAS BEEN GENERATED THAT COULD CAUSE DAMAGE ALONG

COASTLINES OF ALL ISLANDS IN THE STATE OF HAWAII. URGENT ACTION

SHOULD BE TAKEN TO PROTECT LIVES AND PROPERTY.

A TSUNAMI IS A SERIES OF LONG OCEAN WAVES. 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 WAVE AS SUBSEQUENT WAVES ARRIVE. TSUNAMI WAVE HEIGHTS

CANNOT BE PREDICTED AND THE FIRST WAVE MAY NOT BE THE LARGEST.

TSUNAMI WAVES EFFICIENTLY WRAP AROUND ISLANDS. ALL SHORES ARE AT

RISK NO MATTER WHICH DIRECTION THEY FACE. 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 TSUNAMI HAZARD.

THE ESTIMATED ARRIVAL TIME IN HAWAII OF THE FIRST TSUNAMI WAVE IS

0259 AM HST FRI 11 MAR 2011

MESSAGES WILL BE ISSUED HOURLY OR SOONER AS CONDITIONS WARRANT.

Tsunami watches are also in effect for the west coast of the USA.

COASTAL AREAS BETWEEN AND INCLUDING THE CALIFORNIA-MEXICO

BORDER TO CHIGNIK BAY ALASKA

1214 AM PST FRI MAR 11 2011

…THE TSUNAMI WATCH CONTINUES IN EFFECT FOR THE COASTAL

AREAS OF CALIFORNIA – OREGON – WASHINGTON – BRITISH

COLUMBIA AND ALASKA FROM THE CALIFORNIA-MEXICO BORDER TO

CHIGNIK BAY ALASKA…

PERSONS IN TSUNAMI WATCH COASTAL AREAS SHOULD STAY ALERT FOR

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION.

TSUNAMI WATCHES ARE AN ADVANCE NOTICE TO AREAS THAT COULD BE

IMPACTED BY A TSUNAMI AT A LATER TIME. TSUNAMIS ARE A SERIES OF

WAVES POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS SEVERAL HOURS AFTER INITIAL ARRIVAL

TIME. ESTIMATED TIMES OF INITIAL WAVE ARRIVAL FOR SELECTED

SITES IN THE WATCH ARE PROVIDED BELOW.

KODIAK-AK 0351 AKST MAR 11 TOFINO-BC 0658 PST MAR 11

SEWARD-AK 0416 AKST MAR 11 NEAH BAY-WA 0710 PST MAR 11

ELFIN COVE-AK 0418 AKST MAR 11 CHARLESTON-OR 0715 PST MAR 11

YAKUTAT-AK 0425 AKST MAR 11 CRESCENT CITY-CA 0723 PST MAR 11

SITKA-AK 0425 AKST MAR 11 SEASIDE-OR 0724 PST MAR 11

VALDEZ-AK 0435 AKST MAR 11 WESTPORT-WA 0725 PST MAR 11

LANGARA-BC 0535 PST MAR 11 SAN FRANCISCO-CA 0808 PST MAR 11

CORDOVA-AK 0445 AKST MAR 11 SANTA BARBARA-CA 0817 PST MAR 11

HOMER-AK 0508 AKST MAR 11 SAN PEDRO-CA 0832 PST MAR 11

CRAIG-AK 0526 AKST MAR 11 LA JOLLA-CA 0841 PST MAR 11

FOR ARRIVAL TIMES AT ADDITIONAL LOCATIONS SEE

WCATWC.ARH.NOAA.GOV

This is a major earthquake; to compare the Indonesian super quake that caused the massive deadly tsunami near Christmas 2004 was a magnitude 9.1.

Stay tuned to MPR for updates Friday.

PH