The 8.9-maginitude earthquake that struck Japan on Friday, sent tsunami waves rippling across the Pacific for thousands of miles in every direction. Countries around the Pacific Rim from South Asia, Hawaii, New Zealand, Fiji, Alaska, Canada, the mainland U.S. and South America were all on high alert.
NewsHour correspondent Spencer Michels reported from San Francisco about the efforts in Hawaii, 3,800 miles from Japan, to encourage people to move away from coastal areas to escape the potential tsunami after effects including over seven-foot waves. As waves were traveling an estimated 500 miles per hour, one Oregon man was reportedly swept into the ocean and is presumed dead. Boats and docks in marinas were destroyed.
While most people on the U.S. mainland steered clear of the Pacific coast, some surfers in Redondo Beach in Southern California took the warnings in stride and continued surfing.
"I think that, because of the last tsunami situation that Hawaii had, that we have some practice. So, I really felt like people knew what to do. Everyone had a good -- a very good response, and I think just because they have had practice and they realize how important it is." Capt. Joana Nunan, U.S. Coast Guard
"We have water and stuff at home already. So, we just need gas, charging up our phones and everything. Better to be safe than sorry, yes? Just pray for the best, though. Hope everything works out for everyone." Hawaiian Man
1. What region of the world is Japan?
2. Name four countries in the Pacific Ocean.
3. What causes a tsunami?
1. Do you think there are any similarities between the recent earthquake in New Zealand and the one in Japan?
2. Why do earthquakes often cause tsunamis? How does a tsunami travel across the ocean?
3. What is the Ring of Fire?