* Tsunami could reach 6 feet in California
* Evacuations possible in California
* Hawaii and Guam residents told to leave coastal areas
* Warning extended to Northern California and Oregon
OAKLAND, Calif., March 11 The tsunami generated
by a massive earthquake in Japan could reach 6 feet (2 metres)
when it hits parts of the northern California coast and force
some evacuations, a state emergency agency spokesman said.
In Hawaii, the first signs of a tsunami began to appear, as
waves steadily rose over southern beaches on the island of
Oahu. The initial waves in Hawaii appeared to have caused no
The massive 8.9 magnitude quake in Japan triggered tsunami
warnings for most of the Pacific basin, including northern
California and Oregon.
"It is very possible there may be some evacuations here,"
California Emergency Management Agency spokesman Jordan Scott
said by telephone, adding that the far northern California area
near the Oregon border was most likely to see big waves.
In Hawaii, some 3,800 miles (6,200 km) from Japan, the main
airports on at least three of the major islands -- Maui, Kauai
and the Big Island of Hawaii -- were shut down as a precaution,
and the U.S. Navy ordered all warships in Pearl Harbor to
remain in port to support rescue missions as needed.
Civil defense officials ordered all Hawaiian coastal areas
evacuated by 2 a.m. local time, about 90 minutes before the
first wave reached the islands at about 8:30 a.m. EST/1330
Authorities also ordered evacuations from low-lying areas
on the U.S. island territory of Guam in the western Pacific,
but the tsunami warning there was lifted several hours later
and roads there were reopened.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Honolulu said the
tsunami warning was posted from Mexico down the Pacific coast
of South America. The advisory was later extended to a stretch
of the U.S. West Coast from Point Conception, California, north
President Barack Obama, a native of Hawaii, was notified of
the massive Japanese quake at 4 a.m./0900 GMT and instructed
the Federal Emergency Management Agency to be prepared to
affected U.S. states and territories, the White House said.
The quake off Japan's northeast coast was the biggest in 140
years and triggered tsunami waves of up to 30 feet (10 metres)
that swept across farmland, carrying away homes, crops,
vehicles and triggering fires. [ID:nL3E7EB0MF]
On Easter Island, a Chilean territory in the South Pacific,
authorities planned to move residents to higher ground hours
before a possible tsunami was expected to reach the volcanic
isle on Friday afternoon.
Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, whose country was hit
by a devastating 8.8 magnitude quake and ensuing tsunamis that
killed more than 500 people a year ago, called on Chileans to
remain alert, but to continue with their daily routines.
(For a FACTBOX on the tsunami around the Americas, see
[ID:N11232663] and for full coverage of the quake and tsunami
(Additional reporting by Suzanne Roig and Jorene Barut in
Honolulu, Peter Henderson in San Francisco and Simon Gardner in
Santiago; writing by Steve Gorman and Frances Kerry; editing by