[Ed. – The latest on Hawaii is that a tsunami watch has been canceled. It was not expected to exceed about a meter at that distance. Fortunately, the epicenter was a good way off the coast of New Zealand’s main islands.]
A powerful magnitude 8.1 earthquake struck Friday in the ocean off New Zealand, prompting thousands of people to evacuate and triggering tsunami warnings across the South Pacific. A tsunami watch issued for Hawaii has been canceled.
The quake was the largest in a series of tremors that hit the region over several hours, including two earlier quakes that registered magnitude 7.4 and magnitude 7.3.
While the quakes triggered warning systems and caused traffic jams and some chaos in New Zealand as people scrambled to get to higher ground, they did not appear to pose a widespread threat to lives or major infrastructure.
That’s because of the remoteness of where they hit.