No major damage as waves triggered by earthquake hit Hawaii
Surf boards and Hawaiian outrigger canoes sit on a deserted Waikiki Beach early Friday, March 11, 2011 in Honolulu. The state of Hawaii is under a tsunami warning due to an 8.9-magnitude earthquake that hit Japan. (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner) By Eugene Tanner
HONOLULU (AP) -- Waves up to 7 feet high have been hitting Hawaii, triggered by the earthquake off Japan.
Seven-foot waves have been measured on the island of Maui, while 3-foot waves hit the islands of Kauai (kuh-WY') and Oahu (oh-WAH'-hoo).
The waves are expected to continue for a while and officials say they could become larger. A scientist at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says there is likely to be some damage in Hawaii, but it doesn't appear it will be major.
On Oahu, water rushed ashore in Honolulu, swamping Waikiki's beach and surging over the breakwall in the world-famous resort. But it stopped short of the area's high-rise hotels.
Hawaii residents had hours to prepare for the tsunami, with warning sirens sounding throughout the night. By the time it arrived in the early morning hours, roads and beaches were empty.
Residents in coastal areas were evacuated to community centers and schools, and tourists were moved to higher floors of hotels.
Beaches are also closed along the western coast of the mainland U.S., where the waves from the tsunami have now reached the Oregon coast. Evacuations have been ordered in parts of Washington and Oregon.