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REGION: Pacific Islands weather Japan tsunami - feel their own earthquakes


A trail of tsunami devastation along the waterfront in Kailua-Kona town on Hawai'i Island. Photo: Anne Irene Wilcox

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Item: 7334

AUCKLAND: Pacific nations and territories were all issued with a tsunami warning over the weekend.

However, the threat soon passed when it became apparent that the brunt of the tsunami was felt on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, on the west coast of the United States.

The Fiji Times reported that eight men from Vanua Levu, oblivious to the tsunami warning, were out on the water in a fibreglass boat and were thrown to and fro by a tidal wave.

Ana Currie reported the damage to Hawai'i Island's west coast, while in Samoa, the waves were "not strong, but scary", according to Charlina Tone of the Samoa Observer.

However, in the aftermath of the giant magnitude 9 earthquake that struck Japan on Friday, there have been reports of smaller but significant earthquakes in the Pacific.

Matangi Tonga reported that a 6.1 magnitude quake struck to the south east of Hihifo, Niuatoputapu, on Saturday. It was about 106km off the coast and at a depth of 10km.

Then in Fiji, another earthquake was reported in Kadavu, an island to the south of the main island, Viti Levu. Fiji Broadcasting Corporation reported the quake today. 

In Papua New Guinea, ABC's Liam Fox reported minor flooding from the tsunami.

The PNG National Disaster Centre reported unusually high tides caused flooding in low-lying areas of Manus Island and Wewak on the north-east coast.

Manus governor Michael Sapau said residents on the island's north-west coast reported that the sea rose by around a metre in the early hours of the morning.

"Minor inundation, no major damages," he said.

Across the border in the Indonesian province of Papua, Hendra Rayana reported from Jayapura in the Bali Post that the tsunami destroyed Crocodile Bridge, connectingt  Holtekamp and Koya in Tami Muara district, about 75 km from the center of the capital.

This bridge is on the only route connecting Jayapira with the Papua New Guinea-Indonesia border.

The tsunami also swept roads, damaging the main route. - Pacific Media Watch

Earlier Pacific tsunami threat story - video

About the authors

PMC profile photograph

Alex Perrottet

PMW contributing editor 2011-2012

Alex Perrottet is a journalist who has completed a Masters degree and Postgraduate Diploma in Communication Studies student at AUT University.

PMC profile photograph

Pacific Media Watch

PMC's media monitoring service

Pacific Media Watch is compiled for the Pacific Media Centre as a regional media freedom and educational resource by a network of journalists, students, stringers and commentators.
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