Tsunami Watches Issued for Hawaii and Alaska's Aleutian Islands

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami watch Friday for Hawaii and Alaska's western Aleutian islands after a 8.3-magnitude earthquake in the northern Pacific.

The center said the waves could reach the Hawaii's shores just after midnight Hawaii Standard Time. It was expected to hit Alaska's Dutch Harbor about an hour earlier.

The West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said it was not immediately known if a tsunami was generated.

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It issued a warning for the western Aleutians Islands from the villages of Nikolski to Adak and warned that people in low-lying coastal areas should remain alert to instructions from local emergency officials.

Adak is a community of 167 about 1,300 miles southwest of Anchorage. Nikolski is a village of 31 about 900 miles southwest of Anchorage.

The warning center issued a tsunami watch for the rest of the Aleutians and coastal areas along south-central Alaska to Seward.

Japan's Meteorological Agency issued tsunami warnings following the quake. The agency said waves as high as 3.3 feet could hit the northeastern coast of Japan's northern island of Hokkaido.

Officials in towns along Japan's Pacific coast issued evacuation orders to flee to higher ground.

The quake struck about 310 miles east of the Etorofu islands between northern Japan and Russia, the agency said.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage from the quake.

Tsunami waves — generated by earthquakes — are often barely noticeable in the ocean but can rise to great heights once they arrive at shore.