May 20, 2013
American Pacific coast on alert over Japan tsunami
After a massive Tsunami hit Japan, warnings have been extended to a long list of countries over the possibility of a similar disastrous experience. Among the countries at risk are Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, and the United States (with focus on Hawaii).
Ecuador took extreme precautions after President Rafael Correa declared a state of emergency across the Andean nation on national television and urged residents to move inland.
The area at risk includes the Galapagos Islands -- a popular tourist destination known for its wildlife, including endangered species, that inspired British naturalist Charles Darwin's evolution theory in the 19th century.
State oil company Petroecuador halted product shipments.
On Easter Island, a Chilean territory in the South Pacific, authorities planned to move residents to higher ground, in preparation for a possible tsunami in the afternoon.
Peruvian officials said they were waiting until late afternoon to decide if they would order evacuations from low-lying coastal areas such as the port city of Callao.
Many ports along Mexico's western coast were closed, including Los Cabos and Salina Cruz in southern Oaxaca, the only oil-exporting terminal on the country's Pacific side.
Mexican officials said high waves had hit the northwestern Pacific coast but there were no reports of damage.
Authorities in the Canadian province of British Columbia advised residents to evacuate marinas, beaches and other low-lying areas, but officials there said the waves were minimal.
Honduras was another one of the countries that declared an official alert after the tsunami, sources confirmed, along with Perú.