Tsunamis may strike Hawaii after huge earthquake off New Zealand: Agency

Tsunamis may strike Hawaii after huge earthquake off New Zealand: Agency

HONOLULU — The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said tsunamis may strike Hawaii later Thursday after a huge earthquake occurred in a remote area between New Zealand and Tonga.

The magnitude 8.1 quake struck the Kermadec Islands region at 9:28 a.m. Hawaii time.

The agency said it’s investigating whether the event poses a threat to Hawaii. If tsunamis are generated, the first waves would reach the Hawaiian Island chain at 4:35 p.m. Hawaii time.

The agency issued a tsunami warning for American Samoa but then downgraded it to an advisory.

A warning means tsunamis with the potential to generate widespread inundation are expected or occurring.

VIDEO: AccuWeather explains how earthquakes are measured

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