Widespread tsunami warning after Japan quake

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 21, 2011 9:48 AM
Widespread tsunami warning after Japan quake

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - A tsunami warning has been issued for the entire Pacific basin, except for the mainland United States and Canada, following a huge earthquake that hit Japan on Friday, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

It said that among the countries for which a tsunami warning is in effect are: Russia, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru.

The biggest earthquake to hit Japan in 140 years struck the northeast coast on Friday, triggering a 10-meter tsunami that swept away everything in its path, including houses and cars.

By 8:00 a.m. GMT there had been no reports of a serious tsunami hitting anywhere beyond Japan.

"A tsunami is a series of waves and the first wave may not be the largest," the center said. "The threat can continue for many hours as multiple waves arrive."

(Reporting by Andrew Marshall; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)