Hawaii Under Tsunami Watch After Japan Quake

Read our live blog on the tsunami in Hawaii. That's where we're updating the story.

**UPDATED 3/10/11 11:30 p.m.

Hawaii has been put under a tsunami warning. Estimated arrival of first wave in Honolulu is 3:21 a.m.

Police officers have told a Civil Beat reporter that they've been told they can't go home tonight. Sirens will sound at 10 p.m. and then officers will start clearing the beaches.

Civil Beat has received the following tsunami watch from the Honolulu Department of Emergency Management after a major quake struck Japan.

The BBC is reporting that "Japan issued its most serious tsunami warning, saying a wave as high as 6m (20ft) could strike the coast near Miyagi prefecture."

The news service says "U.S. officials said the 8.8-magnitude quake struck about 250 miles from Tokyo at a depth of 20 miles." It said that TV pictures showed a surge of water carrying cars and ships as it surged through a coastal town.

Here's the local alert:

TSUNAMI WATCH FOR HI; QUAKE OFF JAPAN, 7.9 MAG. EST WAVE ARRIVAL IN HI 2:59 AM, 3/11/2011. STILL EVALUATING WAVE

SUBJECT - TSUNAMI WATCH

A TSUNAMI WATCH IS ISSUED FOR THE STATE OF HAWAII EFFECTIVE AT 0756 PM HST.

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

ORIGIN TIME - 0746 PM HST 10 MAR 2011 COORDINATES - 38.0 NORTH 142.9 EAST LOCATION - NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU JAPAN MAGNITUDE - 7.9 MOMENT

EVALUATION

BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA A TSUNAMI MAY HAVE BEEN GENERATED BY THIS EARTHQUAKE THAT COULD BE DESTRUCTIVE ON COASTAL AREAS EVEN FAR FROM THE EPICENTER. AN INVESTIGATION IS UNDERWAY TO DETERMINE IF THERE IS A TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII.

IF TSUNAMI WAVES IMPACT HAWAII THE ESTIMATED EARLIEST ARRIVAL OF THE FIRST TSUNAMI WAVE IS 0259 AM HST FRI 11 MAR 2011

MESSAGES WILL BE ISSUED HOURLY OR SOONER AS CONDITIONS WARRANT.

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