Hawaii Braces for Tsunami; Evacuation Set

Hawaii officials have urged all people living near shores to move to higher ground as the islands are expected to get hit by a tsunami triggered by an 8.8-magnitude earthquake that rattled Chile on Saturday.

Oahu Civil Defense spokesman John Cummings said all shore lines will be closed to the public. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center geophysicist Victor Sardina said “everybody is at risk from the tsunami, which is expected to hit the shores of Hilo just around 11:20 am Hawaii time. The waves are expected to enter the shores of the capital, Honululu before noon.

Sardina said the tsunami could bring waves as tall as six feet in some places. Reports said people have began stocking up on food and water, while motorists have been lining up at gas stations.

Schools and other public places have been closed, including the international airport in the town of Hilo, which is expected to bear most of the brunt caused by the tsunami.