On the heels of a massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake that struck off the coast of Japan, a tsunami warning has been issued for the western coastal areas of the United States and Canada – and at least 20 other countries and Pacific islands – for today.
The West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center early Friday issued a tsunami warning for coastal areas along the United States and Canadian west coasts. The tsunami warning includes coastal areas of California and Oregon from Point Conception to the Oregon-Washington border. It also includes coastal areas of Alaska from Amchitka Pass to Attu.
Sirens sounded in Hawaii around 10 p.m. Thursday (3 a.m. ET), warning residents they could expect tsunami waves five hours later. Waves are expected to hit Hawaii around 3 a.m. Friday local time.
People along coastal areas are urged to evacuate, emergency officials warned.
Tsunami warnings were issued Friday for at least 20 countries and numerous Pacific islands, including Japan, coastal Russia and the Marcus Islands, the Northern Marianas, Wake Island, Taiwan and Guam.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.