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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 8:05 a.m., Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Tsunami advisory cancelled

Advertiser Staff

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center cancelled its statewide tsunami advisory at 7:39 a.m. today. Based on all available data, there was no tsunami threat to Hawai'i, the center said.

Some coastal areas could still experience small sea level changes and strong and unusual currents that could begin as early as 11:33 a.m. and last several hours.

Delores Clark, public information officer for the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, said warnings and advisories throughout the entire South Pacific were cancelled at 7:39 a.m. after it was determined the earthquake had generated only "a non-destructive tsunami."

"Everything's cancelled, everything's pau," Clark said.

Brian Shiro, a geophysicist for the center, said they do not believe there is a threat when they measure tide readings below 1 meter. In the hours after the earthquake,a reading in Pago Pago, American Samoa was at 0.6 meters while readings in Niue, a tiny self-governing island just east of Tonga, and Nuku'alofa, Tonga's capital, were 0.4 meters, Shiro said.

"We've not seen it anywhere else," Shiro said.

Experts at the center have concluded there is no tsunami damage threat to Hawaii and have not received any reports of damage in Tonga or elsewhere.

The center had issued a tsunami watch at 5:43 a.m. and it was changed to an advisory at 6:34 a.m.

The temblor, classified by the U.S. Geologic Service as a "great" quake, struck 95 miles south of Neiafu, Tonga, and 1,340 miles north-northeast of Auckland, New Zealand.

It occurred 20 miles beneath the sea floor.