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Tsunami watch canceled for Hawaii after 8.1 magnitude earthquake in South Pacific Ocean

New Zealand Earthquake
Posted at 12:30 PM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-05 08:16:01-05

A tsunami watch in Hawaii was canceled Thursday afternoon, hours after a 8.1. magnitude earthquake struck in the Southern Pacific Ocean, initially triggering the watch and warnings.

Meanwhile, residents in New Zealand are being asked to evacuate coastal areas, ahead of potential tsunami waves.

The quake happened Thursday morning near the Kermadec Islands, which are part of New Zealand. They are more than 500 miles east of New Zealand, and more than 3,700 miles south of Hawaii. They are mostly uninhabited by humans.

"If you are told to evacuate do not stay at home," the New Zealand National Emergency Management Agency tweeted.

"If you are near the coast from the Bay of Island to Whangarei, from Matata to Tolaga Bay and Great Barrier Island, you must move immediately to higher ground," the country's office of the Red Cross tweeted.

The 8.1 quake near the Kermadec Islands was one of multiple strong earthquakes and aftershocks that rattled New Zealand between Thursday night and Friday morning, local time.

The first struck off the northern tip of New Zealand and measured as a magnitude 7.3 according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center initially issued a tsunami watch for all of Hawaii just before 10 a.m. local time. They also issued a tsunami advisory for American Samoa, and said coastlines of South America, Central America, Fiji, Tonga and Antarctica among others could see tsunami waves.

Those have all been canceled at this time.