Hawaiians seek higher ground, tsunami warning reaches to 53 countries

Kim LaCapria

Spokesman for the Honolulu Department of Emergency Management John M. Cummings III cautioned Hawaiians that the tsunami warning in the wake of the 8.9 magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunamis in Japan is "very, very serious" and warned that people located "in the shoreline areas" need to "get out now."

Tsunami warnings have been sounding since 10 pm local time last night, and continue to occur hourly, with waves of six feet predicted in some areas. The west coast of the US is also under tsunami watch, including coastal areas in California and Washington. Chip McCreary, of the the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, spoke to press about the dangers:

"These are not like surf waves," he said. "These waves effectively wrap around islands, so all coasts will be affected."

[LAT, Twitpic]