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Tsunami centre widens warning to western US coast

Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and Central and South America and the rest of the Pacific Ocean have been issued with tsunami alerts.

In this image made off Japan's NHK TV video footage, vehicles are washed away by tsunami in coastal area in eastern Japan after Japan was struck by a magnitude 8.9 earthquake off its northeastern coast Friday, March 11, 2011.
In this image made off Japan's NHK TV video footage, vehicles are washed away by tsunami in coastal area in eastern Japan after Japan was struck by a magnitude 8.9 earthquake off its northeastern coast Friday, March 11, 2011.
Image: AP Photo/NHK TV

HAWAII AND OTHER parts of the Pacific are bracing for a destructive tsunami after a massive earthquake struck in Japan.

Tsunami sirens were sounded and coastal areas were being evacuated in Hawaii, where the first waves were expected to hit at 1pm GMT on Friday.

The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre widened its tsunami warning beyond East Asia late Thursday to include Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and Central and South America and the rest of the Pacific Ocean.

A lesser tsunami watch was issued for the entire western coast of the United States and Canada from the Mexican border to Chignik Bay in Alaska.

Meanwhile, an imminent storm quake on has been issued for Japan’s Honshu island.

Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs sets up crisis centre for Japan tsunami >

- Additional reporting by AP

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