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article imageTsunami hits Hawaii, water receding-all clear has been given

By KJ Mullins     Feb 27, 2010 in Environment
Hilo - The expected tsunami began to hit Hilo at 11:40 but much calmer than expected. Residents were safely on higher ground after hours of warning. Images prior to the wave hitting of the beautiful Hilo beach were surreal, with no tourists enjoying the water.
The wave was expected to hit around 11:04 am in Hilo. It waited swirling out in the Pacific until about 11:49 with small changes. At this time the area is calm.
At 11:40 MSNBC reported a strong water surge in the area of Wailoa, Hawaii.
Reports came in that the colour of the water was changing as the water began to recede.
Police began shutting down the roads about 10:30 this morning as they prepared for the tsunami's approach.
The Hilo airport closed. Colleges also closed this morning. Local hospitals have stopped all operations other than emergencies. There is no mail delivery in areas that are considered to be in the danger zone.
The USGS's twitterfeed quoted USGS geophysicst Eric Geist saying the Chilean quake "Could safely be placed in the Top 10 of earthquakes."
Of taking the tsunami threat, he says, "Tsunamis are not breaking waves. 75 percent of tsunamis do not break. If you see a tsunami on the beach, it's too late to run."
Kelly Mitchell in Hawaii reported on Twitter at 4:48 EST:
Coconut Beach area completely underwater. Big Island.Water looks to be receding. Hilo Bay. Now.
Updates will follow. (Times listed in EST)
4:57 Big Island has three foot rise.
5:04 Hilo Bay is seeing more action. Water is about a meter higher.
6:50pm- All clear given for Hawaii.
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