“Exit to the beach and port and marina in these areas,” it advised.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said Hawaii “is currently observing a tsunami”, but added that “no damage occurred and only minor flooding occurred throughout the islands.”
Earlier, an underwater volcano near Tonga erupted spectacularly, causing huge tsunami waves to crash onto the coast and people fled to higher ground.
The New Zealand military said it was monitoring the situation and was on standby, ready to assist if asked.
Satellite images show a massive explosion, a plume of ash, steam and gas rising like a mushroom over blue Pacific waters.
Tonga Meteorological Services said a tsunami warning had been declared for all of the archipelago, and data from the Pacific Tsunami Center showed waves of up to 80 centimeters (2.7 ft) were detected.
Dave Snyder, tsunami warning coordinator for the National Tsunami Warning Center, said in Hawaii, Alaska and along the US Pacific Coast, residents were told to move to higher ground away from the coast and heed specific instructions from their local emergency management officials. . Palmer, Alaska.
“We don’t issue an advisory for this length of beach like we’ve done – I’m not sure when was the last time – but it’s not really an everyday experience,” he said. “I hope it adds importance and seriousness to our citizens.”
He said the waves already slamming the coast in Hawaii were under the criteria for a more severe tsunami warning, with Hanalei and Maui measuring 80 centimeters (2.7 feet). Waves of about 91 cm (3 ft) or more will trigger the warning. Snyder said they are currently expecting waves of 30 centimeters (1 foot) to 61 centimeters (2 feet) along the Pacific coast.
Snyder said residents of these areas should expect waves and strong and unusual currents for several hours and there could be some low-lying areas that could be submerged, such as marinas and harbors.
“The important thing here is that the first wave may not be the biggest. We could watch this play for several hours,” he said. “It seems that everything will remain below the warning level, but hard to predict Because it is a volcanic eruption and we are prepared to measure earthquakes or seismic sea waves.”
Residents of American Samoa were alerted by local broadcasters to tsunami warnings as well as church bells throughout the region. An external siren warning system was out of service. People living along the shoreline quickly moved to higher places.