The earthquake that struck Chile this morning has an estimated magnitude of 8.8. This is almost 100 times stronger than the quake that destroyed much of Haiti earlier this year. This is comparable to the deadly 1960 Chile earthquake that measured 9.5 Mw and 8.6 Ms (surface magnitude). That quake produced a 10.7 meter tsunami that devastated Hawaii's Big Island. This quake is likely to have a lower surface magnitude than that 1960 quake, and the waves generated by this one are less severe than the ones in 1960, but this is a stunningly powerful earthquake and a very dangerous tsunami.
The entire Pacific region is now under tsunami warnings and advisories. If I was in Hilo or anywhere along the windward coast of the Big Island, especially less than 20 feet higher than mean high tide, I would move to higher ground with my favorite mobile possessions immediately. If I was on the windward side of Maui, I would do the same. I worry that the Keanae Peninsula will be scoured clean again. Hilo could get waves as high as 8 feet, according to the latest estimates (earlier estimates were as high as 5 meters).
This is not a possibility. The tsunami is in the Pacific and is definitely going to hit Hawaii. The first wave is expected at 11:05 a.m. local time (1:05 p.m. PST). A good livestream can be seen here: http://www.hawaiitsunami.com/. The Pacific Tsunami Museum's webcam can be viewed here: http://www.tsunami.org/hilobaycam.html. Local TV news coverage can be seen here: http://www.ustream.tv/cbsnews.They are evacuating the resort where my family spent our summer vacation. Guam and American Samoa are also very much in danger.
Here in California, we are under a tsunami advisory.
A TSUNAMI ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT WHICH INCLUDES THE
COASTAL AREAS OF CALIFORNIA - OREGON - WASHINGTON - BRITISH
COLUMBIA AND ALASKA FROM THE CALIFORNIA-MEXICO BORDER TO
PERSONS IN TSUNAMI ADVISORY AREAS SHOULD MOVE OUT OF THE
WATER... OFF THE BEACH AND OUT OF HARBORS AND MARINAS.
TSUNAMI ADVISORIES MEAN THAT A TSUNAMI CAPABLE OF PRODUCING
STRONG CURRENTS OR WAVES DANGEROUS TO PERSONS IN OR VERY NEAR
WATER IS IMMINENT OF EXPECTED. SIGNIFICANT WIDESPREAD INUNDATION
IS NOT EXPECTED FOR AREAS IN AN ADVISORY. TSUNAMIS ARE A SERIES OF
WAVES POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS SEVERAL HOURS AFTER INITIAL ARRIVAL
TIME. ESTIMATED TIMES OF INITIAL WAVE ARRIVAL FOR SELECTED
SITES IN THE ADVISORY ARE PROVIDED BELOW.
LA JOLLA-CA 1202 PST FEB 27 YAKUTAT-AK 1619 AKST FEB 27
SANTA BARBARA-CA 1231 PST FEB 27 KODIAK-AK 1628 AKST FEB 27
SAN FRANCISCO-CA 1326 PST FEB 27 SAND PT.
Orange County should start seeing an influx of water between noon and 12:15 p.m. South facing beaches and harbors will be affected more significantly. The waves are expected to be no higher than 3 feet.