There is a red alert warning by National Weather Service that tsunami created by deadliest Japan Earthquake can hit California shoreline areas between 7:23 a.m. and 8 a.m. Pacific Time.
It had already begun slamming Hawaii with waves up to two meters (6.5 feet). "It is a very difficult situation to confront," Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle told CNN. The National Weather Service said damaging waves had been reported.
The worst along the U.S. West Coast was expected in northern California, including the San Francisco area. A tsunami warning was issued for that area, the Los Angeles Times reported. Vancouver, British Columbia, also may be hit.
For areas along the southern California coast, from Los Angeles to San Diego, a tsunami advisory was issued. Southern California beaches were closed.People living in areas likely to be hit were warned to "move immediately inland to higher ground and away from all harbors and inlets, including those sheltered directly from the sea."
Earthquake and tsunami centers said at least 53 Pacific Basin countries may be hit, all the way to Colombia and Peru.
The Japan quake was less than three weeks after the Christchurch quake, which killed at least 166 people.