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Tsunami advisory canceled

    A tsunami advisory and warnings about strong, unusual currents didn't keep surfers out of the water at Point Panic Wednesday morning.

Scientists at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center canceled a tsunami advisory for Hawaii after small sea level changes diminished Wednesday morning.

The advisory was canceled at 7:25 a.m.

No damage was reported in Hawaii from a small tsunami generated by a magnitude 8.2 earthquake in Chile.

Hilo saw the biggest sea level change of 1.9 foot in 16 minutes, or a little over 3 feet from the bottom of the wave to the crest.

Other areas on the Big Island also saw tsunami effects. Honokohau near Kona recorded  a .2 foot rise over 12 minutes; Honuapo saw .1 foot tsunami over 16 minutes; and Kapoho saw a .4 foot change over 14 minutes.

The first surge on Hawaii island was reported at 3.42 a.m.

Big Island Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira said observers at Puhi Bay near Hilo saw an increase in wave heights of between 1 to 2 feet.

Kahului saw the harbor sea level rise 1.7 feet over 18 minutes.

On Oahu, Waianae gauges recorded a .2 foot rise in 12 minutes and Haleiwa’s sea level rose .4 feet over 14 minutes. Hanalei Harbor rose .3 feet in 14 minutes and Nawiliwili recorded a .1 foot rise in 24 minutes.

Honolulu County Emergency Management spokesman Peter Hirai said there was little wave activity when the first surge from the Chile earthquake hit Oahu shores at 3:50 a.m.

Honolulu police and firefighters were on alert and the Department of Emergency Management worked with the visitor industry to warn tourists to stay out of the water. Officials also warned homeless living along the coast of the potential threat.

City officials warned that even though the tsunami advisory is canceled, sea level changes and strong and unusual currents may continue for several hours.

The tsunami advisory and warnings about strong, unusual currents didn’t keep some surfers out of the water from Ala Moana to Waikiki, where a small south swell brought waves of up to 3 feet Wednesday morning.

Beaches across the state, including Hanauma Bay, were closed Wednesday morning as a precaution. Most Oahu and Hawaii County beaches were closed until 8 a.m.  Kauai County beaches are closed until 9 a.m. Maui County closed beaches until noon, but they could open earlier if conditions warrant.

Haunama Bay remains closed Wednesday and may be closed Thursday depending on wave conditions. Tsunami activity in past years has generated unusual surges in the sheltered cove, Hirai said.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said sea level changes were also recorded in California.

A .6 foot rise over 18 minutes was seen in San Luis, Calif. Santa Barbara saw a .5 foot change in 16 minutes and the sea level in Los Angeles rose .2 feet over 26 minutes.

In American Samoa, Pago Pago recorded a 1 foot sea level rise in 18 minutes. Apia in Western Samoa saw a .3 foot change om 14 minutes.

Earlier in the morning, French Polynesia also saw small sea level changes from the tsunami.

Huahine saw a .2 foot rise over 20 minutes and Rikitea saw .2 feet in 16 minutes.

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