The initial waves of a tsunami generated by a huge Japanese earthquake have hit the U.S. mainland along the Oregon coast, according to Associated Press.
Gerard Fryer, geophysicist at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Honolulu said high waves reached Port Orford, Ore. (on the southwestern coast of Oregon not far from the California border) at about 7:30 a.m. (PST) Friday morning.
The tsunami moved across the Pacific Ocean at speeds of up to 500 miles per hour.
Officials across the Pacific Coast have issued tsunami warnings and advisories, ordering people to flee beaches and low-lying regions.
The National Weather Service has warned that some of the biggest waves (of between 6 and 7 feet) will likely hit near Crescent City, Calif., on the extreme northern coast of California not far from Port Orford, Calif.
In Alaska, the tsunami created waves of more 5 feet at Shemya in the Aleutian Islands 1,200 miles southwest of Anchorage.
Tsunami waves had earlier reached the Hawaiian Islands, however the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said it has not yet caused much damage, although some mooring facilities and piers will likely be destroyed.
Waves of 7-foot high were recorded on Maui, while 3 feet waves were witnessed in Oahu and Kauai.
We called this right. This evacuation was necessary, said geophysicist Gerard Fryer in Hawaii.
There's absolutely no question, this was the right thing to do.