Scientists had predicted a tidal surge up to 9 feet on some Hawaiian shores, but that did not appear to be materializing at 4:40 p.m. Scientists say ocean gauges confirm the tsunami has reached Hawaii, however.
The first waves were to have struck Hilo, on the Big Island, at about 4:05, and the Honolulu area at about 4:37, but multiple news agencies were broadcasting televised images of abandoned, placid beaches. Local radio reported small changes in water levels, but that could be attributed to an incoming tide.
Other Pacific Islands saw surges of 6 to 7 feet, but major damage has not been reported.
Scientists warn the waves will be arriving for several hours, and sea levels could continue to rise.