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Tsunami waves hit Pacific regions


March 1, 2010 — Tsunami waves triggered by earthquake in Chile hit coastal shores throughout the Pacific on Sunday.

Hours after a powerful magnitude 8.8 earthquake struck coastal Chile on Saturday, tsunami alerts were issued for countries throughout the Pacific.

In Japan, the first major tsunami warning in 17 years forced more than 600,000 residents into emergency shelters for the night. The waves triggered some localized flooding, but no one was injured. The tsunami alert was downgraded on Sunday, but authorities remained on high alert. Police spent the day patrolling coastal roads, warning surfers to get out of the water.

People living in coastal areas of the Philippines were also moved to higher ground. A tsunami alert was issued for Russia's Kamchatka region, but it has since been lifted.

In Australia, life guards on Sydney's Bondi Beach spent Sunday evacuating people from the water. Much of the country's east coast was under a low-level tsunami warning following the earthquake in Chile.

Waves from the quake also reached the shores of New Zealand on Sunday, but there were no reports of damage or injuries. A warning was also issued for the French Polynesia.

Here at home, a tsunami warning was issued for coastal British Columbia, but the waves ended up having little no effect. Hawaii also dodged serious damage on Saturday when a tsunami merely lapped ashore. Residents had been warned to stay away from coastal areas.

For the latest on the clean-up and recovery throughout Chile today, make sure you tune into Weather News on TV. It comes up at :12 and :42 minutes past each hour.

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