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Tsunami from quake off Canada is a rare event for Hawaii

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 02:11 a.m. HST, Oct 28, 2012

This is the first time Hawaii has seen a tsunami warning triggered by an earthquake off Canada.

"It's rare," said Victor Sardina, geophysicist with the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

There have been five earthquakes off the Queen Charlotte Islands since 1929, according to the U.S. Geological Service. The most recent, a magnitude 6.6, was in 2009.

Sardina said the latest measurements for the current tsunami showed waves of 1.1 feet in Arena Cove, Calif., about 9:30 p.m.

"We don't think it's anything to panic about," he said. "It's just something to be wary about. We'd rather be safe than sorry.

Charles McCreery of the center said 3 feet of water generated from a tsunami is powerful enough to carry a fishing boat and push it inland, he said.

Waves ridden by surfers are 20 seconds long until the next wave comes. Tsunamis are different, he said. "It's 20 minutes from one wave to the next."

"It may not be very high but It's very, very broad and contain a huge amount of water."

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