Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Wednesday 29 November 2023 Dublin: 2°C
Press Association Images Houses and buildings are seen washed away by massive tsunami waves after a powerful quake in a photo taken from a Kyodo News helicopter in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, on March 11, 2011.
Pacific Tsunami

Tsunami may 'totally engulf' low lying Pacific islands: Red Cross

The low lying Pacific islands may be swept over as a powerful tsunami hits the region – meanwhile Indonesia is bracing itself, as warnings indicate it will be the first area to be hit after Japan.

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

Low lying islands in the Pacific region could be “totally engulfed”, experts from the Red Cross have warned. Islands in the Asia Pacific region are the most at risk.

The first area to be hit is expected to be Indonesia, affecting the northern and eastern parts of the country, at about 11am GMT.

In the Philippines is expected to be hit next; officials ordered an evacuation of coastal communities along the country’s eastern seaboard in expectation of a tsunami following the 8.9-magnitude earthquake in Japan.

Disaster management officials in Albay province southeast of Manila say they ordered residents to move to designated evacuation sites that are at least 15 feet (5 meters) above sea level.

Hawaii is expecting impact at about 1pm GMT. More than 50 territories and countries have now been issued with tsunami warnings: the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has widened its tsunami warning beyond East Asia early Friday to include Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, the entire US western coast, Mexico and Central and South America and the rest of the Pacific Ocean.

In Guam, authorities advised people to evacuate low areas of the US territory and seek ground higher than 50 feet above sea level and 100 feet inland.

The Northern Mariana Islands, another U.S. territory, was also under the warning, and the Hyatt Regency in Saipan has moved guests to three highest floors of the seven-story hotel.

Australia was not in danger because it was protected by island nations to the north, including Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, that would largely absorb any wave activity, said Chris Ryan, a forecaster at the National Meteorological and Oceanographic Centre, the Australian government agency that monitors the threat.

Additional reporting by AP

Tsunami may 'totally engulf' low lying Pacific islands: Red Cross
1 / 4
  • Origin of earthquake

  • Hawaii

  • Alaskan coast

  • Main danger points

Read: What happened in Japan? Timeline of the terrible events >