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A tsunami warning has been issued for Hawaii after a 7.7-magnitude earthquake rocked an island off the west coast of Canada on Saturday night.
Mass flooding is expected and a coastal evacuation was issued late saturday night after The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said to expect waves between three and seven feet, beginning about 10:28 p.m. local time Saturday (4:28 a.m. Sunday ET). The warning remains in effect until 7 p.m. local time on Sunday.
The impact has the potential to last for several hours and consist of a succession of waves. Flooding is expected and coastal evacuation has been recommended.
Precautionary measures: Lyndon Fong of Honolulu fills up his petrol tank after learning of the tsunami warning
Panic buying: Erica Avegalio (centre), and her brother Albert Avegalio (right) stock up on food and water following the tsunami warning issued on Saturday and lasting until 7pm today
The temblor shook the Queen Charlotte Islands area on Saturday night, followed by a 5.8-magnitude aftershock several minutes later. There were no immediate reports of major damage.
A tsunami warning for southern Alaska and northern British Columbia has been downgraded to an advisory, while a warning has been issued for Hawaii.
In addition, the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center says parts of coastal Oregon and northern California have been placed under a tsunami advisory.
A tsunami warning means an area is likely to be hit by a wave, while an advisory means an area could be hit.
Contingency plan: Mike Nakamoto of Honolulu prepares his client's boat moored at Ala Wai Harbour to take it to deep water because of the tsunami warning
Tsunami threat: Tad Kanski unties his family's boat moored at Ala Wai Harbour, preparing for the waves of up to 7ft anticipated to lash Hawaii today
It is not expected to be as significant as the devastating earthquake and tsunami that killed thousands in Japan in March 2011.
1946 - Caused by an earthquake in the Aleutian Islands, the tsunami waves reached up to 55 feet and struck without warning killing 170 people.
1960 - There were 61 deaths and $75 million in damage after a record-setting earthquake in Chili triggered a tsunami
1975 - A locally generated tsunami claimed two lives
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake hit the Queen Charlotte Islands just after 8 p.m. local time Saturday at a depth of about 3 miles (5 kilometers) and was centered 96 miles (155 kilometers) south of Masset, British Columbia. It was one of the biggest earthquakes around Canada in decades and was felt across a wide area around British Columbia.
The National Weather Service issued a tsunami warning for coastal areas of British Columbia, southern Alaska and Hawaii. The first wave of the small tsunami, about four inches (101.6 millimeters), hit the southeast Alaska coastal community of Craig.
Rattled: Magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck the Queen Charlotte Islands off British Columbia, prompting a tsunami warning for coastlines in Canada and Alaska
Epicenter: The powerful quake was centered 96 miles south of Masset, British Columbia
Dennis Sinnott of the Canadian Institute of Ocean Science said a 69 centimeter (27 inch) wave was recorded off Langara Island on the northeast tip of Haida Gwaii, formerly called the Queen Charlotte Islands.
Another 55 centimeter (21 inch) wave hit Winter Harbour on the northeast coast of Vancouver Island.
'It appears to be settling down,' he said. 'It does not mean we won't get another small wave coming through.'
The USGS said the 7.7 magnitude temblor shook the waters around British Columbia and was followed by a 5.8 magnitude aftershock several minutes later. Several other aftershocks were reported.
Seismic activity: This map shows all earthquakes of the last 30 days
The U.S. Coast Guard in Alaska said it was trying to warn everyone with a boat on the water to prepare for a potential tsunami.
Lt. Bernard Auth of the Juneau Command Center said the Coast Guard was working with local authorities to alert people in coastal towns to take precautions.
The quake struck 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Sandspit, British Columbia, on the Haida Gwaii archipelago, formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands. People in coastal areas were advised to move to higher ground.
Urs Thomas, operator of the Golden Spruce hotel in Port Clements said there was no warning before everything began moving inside and outside the hotel. He said it lasted about three minutes.
'It was a pretty good shock,' Thomas, 59, said. 'I looked at my boat outside. It was rocking. Everything was moving. My truck was moving.'
After the initial jolt, Thomas began to check the hotel.
'The fixtures and everything were still swinging,' he said. 'I had some picture frames coming down.'
Natural Resources Canada said in a statement that a major earthquake was felt across much of north and central British Columbia but that there were no immediate reports of damage. PrayForCanada became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter.
This diagram shows the earthquake and the projected times for when the tsunami will reach other land masses
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