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Alert level lifted, as tsunami fears ease

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Alert level lifted, as tsunami fears ease


The US authorities have lifted a Pacific-wide alert, as fears of a giant tsunami provoked by Chile’s earthquake ease.

Though sea water flooded the shoreline of northern Japan, only minor damage was recorded and the government has lowered the alert level from major to normal.

But the authorities remain on standby, because of earlier predictions a wave of up to three meters could arrive. Hundreds of thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate to higher ground.

From Australia to Russia and Hawaii, officials had warned residents to beware of the large waves. But the predicted time of impact came and went, with smaller waves than expected recorded in most places.

One of Russia’s Kuril islands was an exception – with waves of up to 2.2 meters hitting the shore.
Russia has however lifted its tsunami alerts for the Kuril and Sakhalin Islands and the Kamchatka peninsula.

In New Zealand, the authorities downgraded the tsunami warning, but said the Chatham Islands and Banks Peninsula could still expect waves of up to three metres. And they urged boats to stay out of the water.

As in most countries, memories remain fresh of the deadly Indian Ocean tsunami six years ago, in which more than 200,000 people died.

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