Hawaii to begin evacuating low-lying areas with approaching tsunami

Hawaiian officials will sound sirens at 6 a.m. local time – noon in the Eastern Time Zone – urging coastal residents in the path of the tsunami to seek higher ground. The tsunami is expected to reach Hawaii around noon Hawaiian time.

The warning was triggered by an 8.8 magnitude earthquake which struck off the coast of Chile this morning.

“We are urging people not to panic,” Hawaii Department of Transportation spokeswoman Tammy Mori said. “It’s important that those in low-lying areas can get to higher ground. We want to remind people that they have five hours to evacuate after the alarms sound.”

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