Tsunami warning lifted in much of south Pacific region

09:28, March 01, 2010      

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The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center on Sunday canceled its tsunami warning for many countries in the Pacific region.

The center's warning has been lifted in French Polynesia, the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Tonga, American Samoa, Samoa, Tokelau, Fiji, Hawaii the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, the Pitcairn Islands, Niue, Guam, the Northern Marianas, Pohnpei, Chuuk and Yap.

The warning, issued after a magnitude 8.8 earthquake struck Chile, sparked evacuations in some countries but many people have now been told they can return home.

French Polynesia appeared to have suffered the worst effects of the tsunami with the Marquesas islands in the north of French Polynesia experiencing waves up to four meters high, Radio New Zealand International reported. There are no reports of casualties or major damage. The measurement for Tahiti is 40 cm.

An Air Tahiti Nui plane due to arrive in Papeete from Tokyo has been diverted to Hawaii.

In Tonga, public radio warned people to seek higher ground, with crowds gathering in elevated areas.

In Samoa, the tsunami warning has been canceled there after a wave of 50 centimetres was generated. People are now returning home, and there have been no reports of damage so far.

In American Samoa, the capital of Pago Pago experienced three or four small surges and receding ocean which exposed rocks. In Tokelau, people were advised to stay indoors.

Source:Xinhua
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