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Strong quake in S. Pacific generates regional tsunami but no Hawaii threat



The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says there is no threat of a destructive tsunami in Hawaii from a strong earthquake near New Zealand this morning, however a wave was generated near the epicenter.

The earthquake, estimated at a magnitude 7.6 by the U.S. Geological Survey, struck off the Kermadec Islands at 7:03 a.m. Thursday (9:03 a.m. today Hawaii time.) The quake was 12 miles deep, the USGS said. The epicenter was 101 miles east of Raoul Island in the Kermadecs, which are about 570 miles south of Tonga, the nearest major island, and about 736 miles northeast of Auckland, New Zealand.

The center issued and then canceled a regional tsunami warning for New Zealand, Tonga and the Kermadecs, and said that a tsunami of 2.2 feet was measured at Raoul Island. 

The center, based in Ewa Beach, said there is no destructive threat to Hawaii or the U.S. West Coast. But some coastal areas in Hawaii could experience small sea level changes or strong or unusual currents lasting for several hours starting at 4:08 p.m. Hawaii time today, according to PTWC officials.

The Kermadec Islands are a remote outpost that are generally uninhabited aside from a weather station and a hostel for visiting New Zealand scientists. The islands are about 3,725 miles southwest of Honolulu.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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