Strong Quake Has Little Effect

A strong earthquake that struck the waters off the Kuril Islands on Wednesday evening, local time, caused brief concerns for a tsunami. The quake, with a magnitude of 8.1, occurred about 110 miles northeast of the island of Hokkaido, leading to preventive evacuations of coastal Pacific-facing areas of Japan, but reports from the area said the largest waves spotted were about 16 inches. Thousands of miles away in Hawaii, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center called a tsunami watch for several hours. By the time the surge reached the islands, however, the watch was canceled but boaters and swimmers were advised to stay out of the water. The Honolulu sector of the U.S. Coast Guard reported storm surges of several feet in various island locations; it conducted patrols of the state's waterways and ports. At press time had confirmed one report of minor damage to a floating dock at one harbor.

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