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Tsunami watch canceled after quake near New Zealand

The Maui News

A tsunami watch was canceled for Hawaii after an 8.1 magnitude earthquake near New Zealand initially put the state on alert Thursday morning.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the temblor struck the Kermadec Islands in New Zealand at 9:28 a.m. Hawaii time, triggering a tsunami watch with predictions of the first wave potentially hitting Hawaii at 4:35 p.m. Several earthquakes over 4.0 magnitude had rumbled throughout the southwestern Pacific throughout the day, including a 7.3 magnitude temblor about 108 miles northeast of Gisborne, New Zealand, at 3:27 a.m. Hawaii time, and a 7.4 magnitude quake in the Kermadec Islands at 7:41 a.m., though neither triggered a tsunami watch.

The Maui Emergency Operations Center was partially activated in response to the tsunami watch, which was lifted at 12:20 p.m. after the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center determined there was no threat to Hawaii.

Gov. David Ige and the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency urged the public to sign up for future emergency wireless alerts. To sign up for Maui County’s Maka’ala emergency alert system, visit www.co.maui.hi.us/index.aspx?nid=983.

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