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Urgent review to be undertaken of 'tainted' ADHD guidelines

Urgent review to be undertaken of 'tainted' ADHD guidelines

FEDERAL Health Minister Nicola Roxon's advisers were warned in August last year that drug company payments to a world-renowned US expert on ADHD could have tainted proposed new Australian guidelines for the drug.
However, it was only last month that the National Health and Medical Research Council ordered a rethink of the guidelines - on how ADHD should be treated - because of concerns the doctor's research had been compromised by the drug company funding.
Health experts have urged the government to have ADHD treatment evaluated by experts without links to drug firms, saying the current board is too close to the industry, creating a risk that drug therapy could be elevated in treatment protocols.
US-based child psychiatrist Joseph Biederman is under investigation for failing to disclose much of $US1.6 million he received from drug companies between 2000 and 2007.
The draft guidelines governing Australian use of the drugs refer to Dr Biederman's research more than 50 times.
Dr Biederman has been credited with helping to fuel a worldwide spike in the use of anti-psychotic medicines in children.
In Australia, more than 420,000 prescriptions are written each year for ADHD medicines, which are part of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
In 2007, about 60,000 patients were on ADHD drugs, about 47,000 of those being children.
Despite the explosion in prescription of ADHD drugs, such as Ritalin, there are no current guidelines for their use.
The former guidelines, written in 1997, were scrapped four years ago as new drugs and research had become available.
The Howard government appointed the Royal Australasian College of Physicians to draft new guidelines at a cost of $135,000.
But last year it was revealed that seven of the 10 people in charge of drafting the guidelines had financial links to ADHD drug manufacturers such as Novartis, which manufactures Ritalin.
West Australian Labor MP Martin Whitely wrote to the panel in July last year, warning that its work had been tainted by Dr Biederman's research. Mr Whitely raised similar concerns with Ms Roxon's advisers in August last year. Allegations against Dr Biederman were aired in The New York Times in June last year.
However, it was only last month that the panel was forced to rethink the guidelines. This was after the NHMRC, which is in charge of approving the guidelines, said it would not consider them until the concerns relating to Dr Biederman's work were resolved.
Mr Whitely, who has been a vocal opponent of medicating children for ADHD, said it was time for Ms Roxon "to throw out the draft guidelines and start again".
Opposition health spokesman Peter Dutton criticised the minister for failing to act for more than 12 months.
Jon Jureidini, head of psychological medicine at Adelaide's Women and Children's Hospital, said he was concerned about the level of ADHD medication being prescribed, because there was no reliable research that proved its long-term effectiveness.
A spokeswoman for Ms Roxon said she had "some time ago" asked the Health Department to urgently work through this issue.

ADHD schoolkids '10 times worse' on Ritalin, dexamphetamine, study finds

ADHD schoolkids '10 times worse' on Ritalin, dexamphetamine, study finds

* By Stephen Lunn
* From: The Australian
* February 17, 2010 10:31AM

CHILDREN with ADHD who use prescription drugs to manage their condition were 10 times more likely to perform poorly at school than ADHD kids who avoided medication, a new report revealed.

The Australian reports the study also found stimulant drugs such as Ritalin and dexamphetamine made no significant difference to the level of depression, self-perception and social functioning of a 14-year-old with ADHD.

Those consistently using medication had significantly higher blood pressure at age 14 than children who had never taken drugs, a side-effect that could increase the risk of heart attack and stroke even into adulthood.

The report's co-author, Lou Landau, said the world-first study into the long-term effects of stimulant medication on children with ADHD, to be published today, showed "drugs over the long term don't have an impact on improving performance".

"They don't improve outcomes for those with ADHD, they make no difference to levels of depression, social functioning and self-perception, and for those on medication it is 10 times as likely that classroom performance will be below average," he said.

Professor Landau, principal medical adviser to the West Australian Department of Health, which funded the research, said that was not to say drugs should never be used to treat ADHD.

"There may be some children for whom the need to manage the condition in the short term will outweigh the long-term effects."

The report used data from the Raine Study, which has tracked the progress of more than 2800 families for two decades.

Parents of the 131 children diagnosed with ADHD under the study have provided information since the children were born. The outcomes were measured when the children were 14 years old.

Read more about the study which showed ADHD drugs affected schooling at The Australian

Related Coverage

* Drugs links properly `managed' The Australian, 24 Nov 2009
* Review of 'tainted' ADHD guidelines The Australian, 23 Nov 2009
* School student hands out Ritalin Daily Telegraph, 13 Oct 2009
* Drugs send kids psychotic Perth Now, 13 Oct 2009
* Stealing drugs to fight school fatigue Daily Telegraph, 11 May 2009


No California Damage From Tsunami Alert

Feb 27, 2010 11:10 pm US/Pacific

No California Damage From Tsunami Alert
CBS 5 Earthquake Section

A meteorologist monitors the tsunami situation from his computer in Taiwan's central weather bureau after a 8.8-magnitude quake struck Chile on Feb. 27, 2010.

Related Stories

* Chile Struck By One Of Strongest Earthquakes Ever
* Tsunami Warning Canceled For Hawaii

Tsunami waves from Chile's deadly earthquake hit California shores Saturday, barely eliciting notice from surfers and others who ignored advice to stay away from beaches.

No injuries or significant property damage was reported along Northern California's coast after a tsunami advisory was in place for a good part of the day Saturday. A tsunami advisory for all of the California coastline was no longer in effect, it was canceled Saturday evening.

While no damage was reported along the Bay Area coastline, there were rising water levels in some areas of the region caused by a massive earthquake in Chile overnight.

National Weather Service officials said shortly after 8 p.m. Saturday that the tsunami advisory was no longer in effect because although water levels had risen by about a foot along the region's coastline during the day, significant water level rises were no longer expected.

The tsunami advisory -- which is not as serious as a warning -- was issued for the entire U.S. West Coast after the 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck in Chile at 3:35 a.m. Saturday, causing dangerous waves that were believed to have spread throughout the Pacific Ocean.

However, the tsunami delivered nothing more than a glancing blow to California, Hawaii, and most of the Pacific. Tsunamis are a series of waves that can batter a region for hours after the initial waves arrive, according to the weather service.

The California Emergency Management Agency received reports of varying turbulence up and down the coast, but nothing significant.

Waves arrived in the Bay Area about 1:30 p.m., but despite the rise in the water level, no damage was reported along the coastal parts of the region.

Officials with the Golden Gate National Recreation Area closed a road at the southern end of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge for about 30 minutes when high waves crashed over the road. But no damage was reported along the 60 miles of coastline the National Park Service manages as part of the recreation area.

Residents were warned to stay off local beaches, but no National Park beaches, including Fort Funston Beach, Ocean Beach, China Beach, Baker Beach, Fort Point, Crissy Field, Rodeo Beach, Horseshoe Cove at Fort Baker, Tennessee Valley Beach, Muir Beach, Stinson Beach, Limantour Beach and Drakes Beach, were closed.

In San Mateo County, the sheriff's office did close beaches in Pacifica and Half Moon Bay.

In addition, the Pillar Point harbormaster watched for any changes in the waves, while the sheriff's office, Cal Fire and police agencies up and down the coast worked together to monitor the situation, sheriff's Lt. Ray Lunny said.

Officials in neighboring Marin County also said there was no damage.

Far to the north, the harbormaster for Crescent City Harbor reported surges and water rushing out of the harbor, though no damage was reported. Crescent City is about 360 miles north of San Francisco.

In Southern California, the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said water surged 2.3 feet in Santa Monica shortly before 12:30 p.m. and 2.9 feet in Santa Barbara shortly after 5 p.m. The tsunami hit with less force in other areas, including a 1.1-foot surge in San Diego.

The tsunami advisory didn't deter surfers competing in a qualifying match of a Professional Longboards Association contest at San Diego's Ocean Beach.

"It's a nonevent," said Maurice Luque, spokesman for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

The Chilean earthquake and several aftershocks that followed are estimated to have caused at least $15 billion in damage in Chile, according to Eqecat, an Oakland-based risk-modeling firm that estimates damage caused by catastrophes.

(© CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press and Bay City News contributed to this report.)

Chile reels from 8.8 earthquake

Chile reels from 8.8 earthquake

The massive quake tears down buildings and bridges and rips open highways in Santiago and Concepcion. The death toll of 300 is expected to rise.

By Chris Kraul
February 28, 2010
Reporting from Bogota, Colombia

One of the biggest earthquakes in recorded history rocked Chile on Saturday, killing more than 300 people, toppling buildings and freeways, and setting off sirens thousands of miles away as governments scrambled to protect coastal residents from the ensuing tsunami.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet declared parts of the country "catastrophe zones" in the wake of the magnitude 8.8 quake, which was centered offshore, about 70 miles north of the port city of Concepcion.

With images of Haiti's devastation from an earthquake last month still fresh, the world woke up to a new disaster and fears of another catastrophic toll. But the Chile quake's epicenter was relatively deep, at 21.7 miles, and building codes are strict in a country that 50 years ago was struck by the biggest earthquake ever recorded: a magnitude 9.5.

Nonetheless, Bachelet said in an address to the nation Saturday night that a million buildings had been damaged. And with television stations showing topsy-turvy structures, severed bridges and highways whose pavement looked as if it had been tilled by some giant farm machine, the death toll was expected to rise.

Concepcion resident Alberto Rozas said his building began to shake and he grabbed his daughter in terror amid shattering glass and an ungodly roar.

"It was awful," said Rozas, who lives next to a 15-story apartment building that was reduced to rubble. "The only thing I did right was throw clothes on the floor so my daughter and I could escape without ruining our feet. But we're still covered with cuts."

As a flurry of 30 aftershocks, some measuring greater than magnitude 6.0, continued to strike the region all day, Chile's Interior Ministry said tsunami surges reaching heights of 10 feet hit the nation's Juan Fernandez Islands, leaving three people dead and 13 missing.

Memories of the tsunami that was unleashed on Southeast Asia and around the Indian Ocean five years ago haunted governments across the Pacific on Saturday. In Hawaii, 100,000 people were evacuated to higher ground, and the U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet sent four warships out to sea as a precaution against damage near shore at Pearl Harbor.

A series of small 3-foot tsunamis hit Hawaii's Big Island shortly after 1 p.m., churning up sediment but causing no apparent damage. Early Sunday, Japan's Meteorological Agency warned that a "major" tsunami of up to 10 feet could hit northern coastal areas, although initial waves that reached outlying islands posed little threat.

The U.S. moved briskly to offer assistance to Chile. President Obama spoke with Bachelet to offer condolences, praising the country's quick response and reiterating the United States' readiness to aid in rescue and recovery.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said she planned to visit the region Sunday. "Our hemisphere comes together in times of crisis, and we will stand side by side with the people of Chile in this emergency," she said.

Some observers, however, worried that international relief efforts could be stretched thin by the continuing response to the Haiti earthquake, which left more than 215,000 people dead and a million homeless.

In Chile, television images showed collapsed highway overpasses and buildings in southern Santiago, the capital, and in Concepcion, 300 miles to the south. Bachelet was reported to be headed to the region to inspect the damage.

President-elect Sebastian Pinera, who will take office in two weeks, told reporters that in addition to scores of deaths, the country suffered damage to its infrastructure, including highways, airports and housing.

"This earthquake has delivered a tremendous blow to Chilean society," Pinera said, adding he would request emergency funds totaling 2% of the budget to help rebuild. "Our government will do everything for the recovery and to accelerate reconstruction."

Santiago's international airport will be closed at least through Monday, officials said. Although the runways are in good condition, the control tower and customs facilities suffered extensive damage, officials said.

Key structures in Santiago, including ministry buildings, suffered heavy damage, said Education Minister Monica Jimenez. Government employees will be asked to stay home Monday as officials assesses structural safety, she said. Public schools that were to have reopened Monday after summer vacation are now scheduled to reopen March 8.

The quake, lasting 30 seconds or more, struck about 3:30 a.m. Saturday. Santiago residents, many of them in their pajamas, poured into the streets.

A chemical fire at a factory raged out of control and there was smoke in much of the city. Telephone service and electricity were still out in one-third of the capital as of the afternoon and communication was problematic because of the collapse of several cellphone towers.

Santiago faces possible mass transit chaos, with the city's subway system closed indefinitely while the tracks are inspected.

Bachelet urged drivers to not use major thoroughfares because traffic lights were out and many pedestrian bridges had collapsed.

Major damage was reported in Concepcion, the country's second-largest city and the one closest to the epicenter. Several fires due to gas leaks were reported. A multi-story building also collapsed.

The mayor of Concepcion, Jacqueline van Rysselberghe, described her city as "Dante-esque" in the aftermath of the quake, saying two bridges over the Biobio River had collapsed and others were damaged. She said officials still were not sure of the death toll.

The city is home to one of the largest universities in the South American nation, Universidad de Concepcion, a public school with a decidedly liberal student body. Its grounds are often the site of socialist protests.

Kraul is a special correspondent. Times staff writers Janet Hook in Washington and Robert Faturechi in Los Angeles, and special correspondents Andres D'Alessandro in Buenos Aires and Eva Vergara and Lauren Williams in Santiago contributed to this report.

D.C. hospital fires 11 nurses, 5 staffers for snowstorm absences

D.C. hospital fires 11 nurses, 5 staffers for snowstorm absences
By Theresa Vargas
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 28, 2010; A01

The District's largest private hospital has fired 11 nurses and five support staff members who failed to make it to work during the back-to-back snowstorms that paralyzed the region earlier this month.

Dozens of staff members at Washington Hospital Center face internal investigations, union representatives say, and it is unclear how many employees will lose their jobs. On Friday, the nurses union, Nurses United of the National Capital Region, filed a class-action grievance with the hospital.

"I see it as so unfair and uncaring," said Shirley Ricks, a 57-year-old nurse who has spent her entire career at the hospital. "That's it. You call in one day in the biggest snowstorm in history and you're out. No ifs, ands or buts about it. . . . You go from getting a salary every two weeks to nothing. It's scary."

In a letter sent to the staff on Friday, hospital President Harry J. Rider sought to quell rumors that hundreds of people had been fired. He said he expects fewer than 20 people will be dismissed.

"Sadly, we did experience some issue with associates who did not show the same commitment as most of their co-workers to the community, our patients and their fellow associates. They are the few who turned away from their scheduled shifts and who tried -- and are still trying -- to turn the focus on themselves rather than the thousands of Washington Hospital Center workers who fulfilled their commitment to their patients and colleagues, and made it to work," he wrote.

Hospital spokeswoman So Young Pak said she could not comment on specific cases or personnel issues, but "we do not terminate any associates without a fair process. We always review the entire situation with the final decision based on all facts and circumstances."

Union representatives said about 250 of the hospital's 1,600 nurses did not make their shifts at some point during the storms that pummeled the area between Feb. 5 and Feb 11. Pak could not confirm that number but said on the Monday after the first blizzard, 759 employees who were scheduled to work did not show up. On a typical weekday, the hospital has between 3,100 and 3,350 employees working. The nurses earn an average of $40 an hour.

The hospital continues to examine the circumstances of staffers who did not make it into work, Pak said.
Hoping for sympathy

Officials at other local hospitals and unions that represent critical personnel, such as emergency responders, said they had not heard of staffing problems elsewhere or of disciplinary action against employees who were unable to make their shifts. The Transportation Security Administration last week reversed an initial decision to consider Dulles International Airport security screeners AWOL if they had not made it to work during the snow emergency.

Ricks said she hopes the hospital will show similar sympathy and give her back the job she held for 35 years.
Ricks was scheduled to work Feb. 8, but looked at her unplowed street in Upper Marlboro the previous afternoon and knew she was likely to miss her shift. "My husband had gotten the driveway clear, but that was as far as we could go," she said.

She said she called the hospital to explain her situation and reported to work Feb. 9, as soon as her street was passable. On Feb. 10, she spent the night at the hospital to ensure a second storm wouldn't cause her to miss work the next day.

She was dismissed, effective last Tuesday.
"Now I got to get out there and see who wants to hire an old lady," she said.
Some streets impassable

Washington Hospital Center's "Declared Weather (Or Other) Emergency" policy, does not mention termination as a consequence for failing to get to work. It does state: "Unscheduled absences and late arrivals occurring during a declared weather emergency are not counted when addressing attendance issues, nor are authorized early departures."

Pak said the hospital provided transportation for employees during the storm, but union representatives said it was not available at all times. In any case, they said, the vehicles could not reach every street. Stephen Frum, chief shop steward for Nurses United, said some nurses have photos that show their streets were impassable.
Frum said he has reviewed the records of at least half the fired nurses, and none had prior disciplinary problems. He and others question the timing of the firings. The union is scheduled to begin negotiations with the hospital on a new contract Monday.

Pak said the terminations have "nothing to do with the contract and everything to do with our responsibility and commitment to our patients and their families."

Deepa George, 33, mother of a 5-year-old and an 18-month-old, was not able to make it from her Bowie home to the hospital on Feb. 6, as the first blizzard raged all day. But on Feb. 7, she said she drove the family's sport-utility vehicle down her neighborhood's unplowed roads. She left at 4 p.m. for a shift that started at 7 p.m.

"I just prayed to God to take care of my kids and take care of me as I was driving because I didn't want to leave them orphaned," she said.

She had heard rumblings over the last few weeks that nurses had been fired, but it wasn't until Monday that she received her notice. She had worked at the hospital for eight years. "I hope the hospital realizes no one did this on purpose," she said.
Highs and lows

Geri Lee said she received two pieces of mail this month that represent the highest and lowest moments of her 31-year nursing career. One was a thank-you card from a woman who credits Lee with saving her son's life. The other was a letter of termination from the hospital that informed Lee she was fired for "gross misconduct."
Lee said she showed up at the hospital for her Feb. 11 shift prepared to stay the night. But when her shift ended Friday morning, she said she didn't see a need to stay because the snow hadn't started falling. She went home to Silver Spring.

The next day, Lee, 54, said she tried for an hour and half to get out of her neighborhood before calling the hospital to say she could not make it in. That night, she was placed on indefinite suspension. Six days later, she received a termination letter.

"I was devastated," Lee said.

Lee's last performance review, dated September 2009, says she "volunteers to care for the most challenging patients and is helpful to her peers in sharing her expertise and assisting when needed." Last year, she was recognized as one of the hospital's "Superstars" and her photo was hung on the hospital's "Wall of Fame."
Two days after she was terminated, she said, she opened her mailbox to find a card from Adreion Packer. Twenty-two years earlier, on the day Packer's son, Corey, was born, Lee noticed that his coloring was off and insisted something was not right. The child was found to have a congenital heart defect.

The card was addressed to what Packer has called Lee since that day: "Corey's Guardian Angel."

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Confirmed: Andrew Koenig's Body Found

Confirmed: Andrew Koenig's Body Found

Update Friday February 26, 2010 06:25 AM EST Originally posted Thursday February 25, 2010 08:10 PM EST
Confirmed: Andrew Koenig's Body Found
Andrew Koenig on Growing Pains (left) and recentl
The body of Growing Pains star Andrew Koenig was found in a Vancouver park Thursday, the victim of a suicide.

"My son took his own life," his father, Walter Koenig, said in an emotional news conference in the park.

The actor's body was found about 11:30 a.m. in a heavily wooded area just off a bridle path in 1,000-acre Stanley Park, a favorite place for Koenig to frequent during his visits to Vancouver.

The body was found by a private search team of his family and friends. His father was in the midst of searching when he received a cell phone call from other searchers who discovered the body.

"I went to the site," Walter Koenig said, adding that's when he discovered his son had committed suicide.

Police and his family declined to comment on how Koenig took his life.

Koenig, 41, disappeared on Feb. 16 while traveling to the British Columbia city. Mounted officers had been searching the park, but didn't see the body amid the trees.

The announcement came a day after Koenig's father, who is also an actor – he starred as Mr. Chekov in the original Star Trek TV show and movies – made an emotional televised plea to his son to let the family know he was okay.

The younger Koenig, who played Kirk Cameron's pal Boner on the hit '80s sitcom, had long battled depression, his family said. He had cleared out his Los Angeles apartment about three weeks ago before traveling to Vancouver, where he once lived.

The elder Koenig was joined at the press conference by his wife. They put out a plea to anyone suffering depression as their son had to fight hard not to give up hope.

"If you can't handle it anymore, you know, if you could learn anything from this, is that there are people out ther who really care," said Walter Koenig.

See what other readers have to say about this story – or leave a comment of your own

Marie Osmond's Son Commits Suicide

Marie Osmond's Son Commits Suicide

Update Saturday February 27, 2010 02:30 PM EST Originally posted Saturday February 27, 2010 02:00 PM EST
Marie Osmond's Son Commits Suicide
Marie Osmond
Joe Major/ WENN
Marie Osmond's teenaged son, Michael Blosil, has killed himself by leaping to his death around 9 p.m. Friday in Los Angeles, reports Entertainment Tonight, which quotes Marie's brother, Donny Osmond, as saying, "Please pray for my sister and her family."

Through her rep, Marie Osmond released a statement Saturday. It says, “My family and I are devastated and in deep shock by the tragic loss of our dear Michael and ask that everyone respect our privacy during this difficult time.”

According to ET, Michael left a note explaining he intended to end his life after a lengthy battle with severe depression that left him, he said, feeling as if he had no friends and could never fit in.

In 2007, Michael, then 16, entered a rehab facility. His mother said at the time, "My son Michael is an amazing young man, shown through his courage in facing his issues. As his mother, I couldn’t be more proud of him."

The reason for the visit to rehab was never disclosed. Michael is one of eight children Osmond has raised with ex-husband Brian Blosil.

By March 2009, Marie told PEOPLE that Michael seemed to be turning his life around. He was finishing up his last year of high school while living with his mom in Las Vegas, where she and Donny headline a show.

"I couldn't be more proud of him," Marie said at the time. "He's got a 3.9 GPA in high school. He's looking at scholarships to some wonderful colleges."

A rep for Donny and Marie Osmond confirmed to PEOPLE that the show at the Flamingo Hotel was canceled Saturday night. It is being determined how long the hiatus will remain in effect.

Marie Osmond, one of nine Utah-bred Osmond siblings, began performing with her brothers at age 3. She has been outspoken about the trials of her own life in the spotlight.

In her 2001 memoir Behind the Smile, she detailed her battle with postpartum depression following the birth of her son Matthew. She also revealed that she had been sexually abused as a child.

She did not identify her abusers but said they were not family members.

In 2006, Marie's rep denied that the singer had tried to commit suicide, attributing reports about Osmond to the postpartum she suffered.

With reporting by MARK GRAY and BLAINE ZUCKERMAN

Earthquake in Chile: Real-time updates, 6pm ET 2-27-10

Earthquake in Chile: Real-time updates

Posted: Saturday, February 27, 2010 6:10 PM

Hawaii 'dodges a bullet' | 6:04 p.m. ET

A official at the Pacific Tsunami Warning  Center tells the Associated Press that Hawaii "dodged a bullet" after a major earthquake sent powerful waves roiling around the Pacific. 

It still will be about an hour before officials will be willing to give an all-clear in Hawaii, but there were no immediate reports of major damage around the Pacific rim. just tidal surges that  reached up to about seven feet in some island chains.   

Gerard Fryer, a geophysist for the tsunami center, defended the  decision to urge evacuations of coastal areas, saying "better safe  than sorry."

Barry Hirshorn, a geophysicist with the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center tells NBC News that they are not seeing the water levels dropping - which is why the tsunami warning is still in effect. There are multiple waves that are still rolling in and the largest waves may not have arrived yet.

View from Hilo: Whales were very active
| 6:01 p.m. ET
Don Sullivan of Denver, Colo., was vacationing in Hilo when he was awoken at 6 a.m. local time by tsunami warning sirens and forced to evacuate to high ground.  Sirens continued to blare every hour after than, he said. 

"The evacuation seemed smooth, but there were huge gas lines," he said.

He drove to a nearby scenic overlook about 100 feet above the beach, where he had a good view of the tsunami waves as they arrived. The sky was full of helicopters, he said, but there was no sense of panic among the evacuees.

Two hours before the first wave hit, at about 2 p.m. ET, Sullivan said "The whales (were) going nuts, very, very active," he said.  Then, about an hour before that wave, only a single whale remained in view.  [He was] "About 100 yards out, young, looks like he is confused, bobbing up and down, he is in trouble," Sullivan said. 

Then, just after 4 p.m. ET, the water receded with eery calm away from the coast. 

"The beach line quickly (got) wider," he said.  A few minutes later, the water rushed back in. "The bay (looks) bizarre, like a blender," he said.  The churned up bay filled with dirty water, he said.  There was no sign of the struggling whale after the second wave, he said.

Then, at around 5:45, after three "surges" of water, the whales reappeared, suggesting to Sullivan that nature might be getting back to normal.

"The choppers are leaving and the whales are returning," he said.

But public officials continue to issues warning that the tsunami was still dangerous, so Sullivan, 47, had no idea what to do next.

"We don't really know what to do with ourselves," he said. "I've been up since yesterday morning and we don't know if we will be allowed to go back to our hotel."

-As told to's Bob Sullivan over a series of text messages and short phone calls. Don Sullivan is Bob Sullivan's older brother.

U.S. Embassy checking on Americans on Chile
reports the Associated Press | 5:29 p.m. ET

The State Department says the U.S. Embassy in Chile is working to learn the whereabouts of U.S. citizens, both diplomatic employees and others, who were living in or visiting Chile when the magnitude 8.8 earthquake struck early today.

There are no reports of U.S. casualties, and the U.S. military says it has no reports that any of its forces have been affected either on land or at sea.

The State Department advises Americans seeking information on family and friends in Chile to contact the Bureau of Consular Affairs at 1-888-407-4747.

There are 118 embassy employees in Chile. It's unclear how many Americans there are throughout Chile, but an estimated 1,000 live in and near Concepcion, which is only 70 miles from the quake's epicenter.

Fires in Santiago, Concepcion | 5:26 p.m. ET

Santiago mayor orders residents around a factory that’s on fire to leave due to toxic cloud overhead. Some kind of chemical is being released. The number of people evacuated wasn't given.

In Concepcion, firefighters say that they were able to pull out 22 people from a building on fire, but that another 60 could still be inside.

Significant surge in Ventura, Calif. | 5:25 p.m. ET

According to the Ventura, California Harbor Patrol, the Ventura Harbor had a significant tidal surge around 4 p.m. ET, but absolutely no big wave.

The harbor had a significant in-and-surge, ranging from a positive 2.5 feet to a negative 3 feet.

Most if not all of the harbor's navigational buoys were swept away, thus the harbor patrol is busy helping boats get back into the harbor at this time 5:15pm EST.  No boats sank.

There was also some sand erosion on local beaches.

There are no injuries, and apparently no other damage except to the buoys, but the situation is still unstable.

Tsunami has reached Hawaii | 5:10 p.m. ET
Scientists say ocean gauges confirm tsunami has reached Hawaii; extent of damage uncertain.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center tells NBC News says 5.6-foot tsunami wave were recorded at Hilo Bay of Hawaii. Live video on the Web and on TV shows water receding from beaches but nothing dramatic as of yet.

Beach towns possibly wiped out in Chile | 4:52 p.m. ET

It’s summer in South America and hundreds of thousands of people were vacationing at the beaches and may have just started to pack up to get back to work or school on March 1.

According to an ADN Radio reporter, many beach towns were wiped out, including Matanzas, which is wind/kite surfing destination that attracts foreigners. The town is along the beach and is reportedly completely submerged.

The ADN Radio reporter says a witness in a beach town near Valparaiso reported that 200 beach homes, most with people inside, were washed away. The scene included cars floating around. Undetermined number of dead. Navy official confirms a large wave in that area but didn’t have specifics.

Update at 5:07 p.m. ET: The death toll in Chile has been updated to 214, according to Interior Minister Edmundo Perez.

Updates | 4:41 p.m. ET
KHNL-TV is reporting a strong water surge in the area of Wailoa, Hawaii

From Hilo: Water fluctuations starting. Discolouration and strange tides happening.

Also from KHNL: Rock outcropping now being exposed in Hilo Bay - water levels seem to have dropped a lot.

Update 4:56 p.m.: Pago Plaza in American Samoa inundated by tsunami wave, according to NOAA.

A 5-foot tsunami wave hit Chatham Islands, 430 miles southeast of New Zealand.

From eyewitness Kelly Mitchell in Honolulu: Another surge heading back in.Sandy Beach on Oahu experiencing rising seas.

More aftershocks in Chile | 4:11 p.m. ET

USGS reports the 54th major aftershock, magnitude 5.0, centered off the coast of Bio-Bio, Chile.

Update at 4:34 p.m. ET: A health official just told reporters that apart from three hospitals severely damaged in Santiago, a dozen more south of the capital have also seen significant damage.

Hawaii coastline live streams on the Web | 4:08 p.m. ET

Tweets from the USGS
| 3:54 p.m. ET
The USGS is maintaining a very informative Twitter feed here.

It quotes USGS geophysicst Eric Geist saying the Chilean quake "Could safely be placed in the Top 10 of earthquakes."

Of taking the tsunami threat, he says, "Tsunamis are not breaking waves. 75 percent of tsunamis do not break. If you see a tsunami on the beach, it's too late to run."

Hawaii tsunami forecasts
| 3:36 p.m. ET 

Hilo 11:05 a.m. local, 6.9 to 8.2 feet
Honolulu 11:37a.m., 1.6 to 2.3 feet
Kahului 11:26 a.m., 3.6 to 10 feet

The Honolulu Advertiser has a live stream of Waikiki Beach.

Lessons learned from history?
  | 3:26 p.m. ET
Newsweek's Kate Dailey predicts that even though the quake the struck Chile was 100 times stronger than the quake that devastated Port-au-Prince in January, the death toll is expected to be lower.

Why? She writes:
First and most obvious, the construction in Chile is far better than construction in Port-Au-Prince. A popular saying among seismologists is that “earthquakes don’t kill people, buildings do.” Chile’s buildings are better-built, with better materials, higher-skilled laborers and an eye towards earthquake resistance. They are therefore more earthquake resistant. Many fewer of them collapsed, so fewer people died. The second reason is that, unlike Port-Au-Prince, Chile is accustomed to earthquakes. It has what those who work in disaster-preparedness call “earthquake consciousness.”'s Cosmic log writer Alan Boyle says that five years after the
catastrophic Indian Ocean quake and tsunami, the tsunami alerts issued in the wake of Saturday's earthquake in Chile demonstrate how much more information is now available about potential seismic threats. 

Text message donations
| 3:17 p.m. ET

Verizon Wireless says its customers can immediately contribute to two international relief organizations that are now accepting text contributions for their Chile relief efforts.  Donations will appear on regular monthly Verizon Wireless bills.

Text CHILE to 23583 to donate $10 to Habitat for Humanity
Text CHILE to 20222 to donate $10 to World Vision

AT&T also released this statement: "We're monitoring the situation to determine how we can help. As was the case in Haiti, the need to work with local authorities is critical."

Update at 4:00 p.m. ET:
How to help information is available at

Elevations in Hawaii
| 3:14 p.m. ET just published this map which shows the elevation of Hawaiian islands.

500,000 homes damaged
| 3:08 p.m. ET
According to Chile's housing minister speaking live on state television, there are reports of up to 500,000 homes that were damaged severely. That means there are about 500,000 families that have been displaced by the earthquake, so far. Most are seeking shelter with family & friends.

Hawaii hotels move guests to higher floors |
2:54 p.m. ET
Tayaba Jafri tweets from the Westin Moana Surfrider in Honolulu and shares this photo, saying choppers were blaring "Everyone get out of the water!"

Two of the three wings of her hotel were evacuated, excluding the wing where her room was located.

According to tweets, members of the cast and crew of "Lost" were also moved to the top floor of Hawaii's highest hotel. The popular ABC show  films in Oahu.

Bill Brennan, the communications director for the mayor of Honolulu, told MSNBC's David Shuster that tourists staying in hotel rooms on the third floor or lower were being moved to higher floors. Airports are also continuing to operate for folks who want to leave the island. Brennan says that there are safe places for residents and visitors and they are doing everything to make sure everyone stays out of harm's way.

Waves in Hawaii from NBC producer Randy Brant in Honolulu | 2:35 p.m. ET

Hawaii Civil Defense now reports the following waves:

Hilo      8 feet
Maui      7 feet
Oahu      1 1/2 feet

400,000 victims? |
2:22 p.m. ET
Chile's national emergency agency is now reporting as many as 400,000 victims in the Bio-Bío Region (south of Santiago) alone.

On MSNBC, a journalist interviewed in Chile via Skype cautioned that the number could refer to those injured or those who have lost property and may not mean a death toll.

The Associated Press published this list of earthquakes that registered a magnitude of at least 8.6:

-- May 22, 1960: A magnitude 9.5 earthquake in southern Chile and ensuing tsunami killed at least 1,716 people.

-- March 27, 1964: A magnitude 9.2 quake in Prince William Sound, Alaska, and ensuing tsunami killed 128 people.

-- Dec. 26, 2004: A magnitude 9.1 quake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra triggered a tsunami that killed 226,000 people in 12 countries, including 165,700 in Indonesia and 35,400 in Sri Lanka.

-- Aug. 13, 1868: A magnitude 9.0 quake in Arica, Peru (now Chile) generated catastrophic tsunamis; more than 25,000 people were killed in South America.

-- Jan. 26, 1700: A magnitude 9.0 quake shakes Northern California, Oregon, Washington and British Colombia and triggers tsunami that damages villages in Japan.

-- Nov. 4, 1952: A magnitude 9.0 quake in Kamchatka causes damage but no reported deaths, despite setting off 30-foot (9.1-meter) waves in Hawaii.

-- Jan. 31, 1906: A magnitude 8.8 quake off the coast of Ecuador and Colombia generated a tsunami that killed at least 500 people.

-- Feb. 27, 2010: A magnitude 8.8 quake off the coast of Chile killed a still-undetermined number of people and sends a tsunami across the Pacific.

-- Nov. 1, 1755: A magnitude 8.7 quake and ensuing tsunami in Lisbon, Portugal killed an estimated 60,000 people and destroyed much of Lisbon.

-- July 8, 1730: A magnitude 8.7 quake in Valparasio, Chile, killed at least 3,000 people.

-- Aug. 15, 1950: A magnitude 8.6 earthquake in Assam, Tibet, killed at least 780 people.

Hawaii prepares
| 2: 18 p.m. ET
The tsunami is expected to hit Hawaii sometime after 11 a.m. local time (4 p.m. ET)

Click here to see photographs of residents stocking up on emergency supplies and fuel in preparation. 
Image: Dean Collins

The tsunami at Marquesas Island smaller than forecast (on 5.9 feet), according to the National Weather Service, and the impact on Hawaii impact could be less than initial expectations.

Facebook's Disaster Relief effort
| 2:09 p.m. ET

According to Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes: 

We've updated, which has 250K fans, with the latest resources on Chile and Hawaii. We're driving traffic to the page through, which has more than 7.4 million fans, and through, which has 194,000 followers.

President Obama warns of potential tsunami | 1:56 p.m. ET

President Obama came out for a brief statement, saying America is ready and has resources ready to deploy should Chile ask for help. He also encouraged U.S. citizens to heed warnings by local officials ahead of potential tsunami in Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, and the California coast.

Watch his statement here.

Entire Pacific basin at risk | 1:55 p.m. ET

At 1:45 p.m. ET, the U.S. Geological Survey had recorded 49 major aftershocks, each of magnitude 5.0 or greater, after the monster earthquake in Chile. Nearly all of them were centered near the site of the original quake, in the areas of Bio-Bio and Libertadores O'Higgins.

The quake triggered a Pacific-wide “tsunami event” that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration SAID was similar to the Christmas 2004 tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people in the Banda Aceh reagion of Indonesia.

Jenifer Rhoads, NOAA's tsunami program manager, told NBC News that the entire Pacific basin was at risk and that residents anywhere in tsunami areas of the region — which covers about a quarter of the globe — should seek higher ground.

Aftershocks continue | 1:43 p.m. ET

The 48th major aftershock, magnitude 5.6, centered off Bio-Bio shore of Chile was just reported by the U.S. Geological Survey

Chile's National Emergency Office has revised the death toll to 147.

Warning for American Samoa, Guam | 1:37 p.m.
NOAA is telling NBC News that anybody in Guam or American Samoa needs to get to higher ground because they are in the warning area.  NOAA wants to reiterate that the warning area is serious, and that a tsunami is a series of waves that occur over multiple hours. Periods between each wave varies.

Tsunami travel times
| 1:29 p.m. ET
This NOAA graphic explains how they can forecast the tsunami in Hawaii so far in advance.

Click here to enlarge and here to see a quicktime movie of the animation.

Twitcaps also has this visualization of twitter photos relating to the quake.

Prisoners escape? | 1:18 P.M. ET

Local media is reporting that a wall in the El Cerezo prison in Chillan allowed 209 criminals to escape. About 60 more inmates tried to flee but were recaptured. Approximately 600 other inmates are being transferred to a unit in Concepcion.

Today's Chile quake and its relationship to 1960 event
by Robert Bazell | 1:09 p.m. ET

Today's earthquake is 150 miles south of the largest earthquake ever recorded  -- a 9.5 on May 22, 1960. Scientists say the two events are related.  The 1960 quake killed 1655 people and caused a devastating tsunami in Hilo, Hawaii. 

Both quakes occurred at the intersection of the Nzca plate (an Aztec word for a part of the larger Pacific plate) and the South American plate

FEMA Statement on Tsunami
from Craig Fugate, FEMA administrator | 1:04 p.m. ET
"FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security are closely monitoring the situation, and officials are in close contact with the State of Hawaii and the U.S. territories in the Pacific Ocean that could be impacted by a potential tsunami. FEMA stands ready to assist should a request for assistance be made, and does have pre-deployed assets in Hawaii, including food, water, generators and other resources. We urge all individuals to follow the direction provided by local officials."
Concerns for Concepcion
from the Associated Press | 12:56 p.m. ET

In Concepcion, Chile's second-largest city and only 70 miles (115 kilometers) from the epicenter, nurses and residents pushed the injured through the streets on stretchers. Others walked around in a daze wrapped in blankets, some carrying infants in their arms.
A 15-story building collapsed, leaving only a few floors intact.

 "I was on the 8th floor and all of a sudden I was down here," said Fernando Abarzua, marveling that he escaped with no major injuries. He said a relative was still trapped in the rubble six hours after the quake, "but he keeps shouting, saying he's OK."

NOAA buoys detect tsunami in Peru filed by Robert Bazell, NBC Science Correspondent | 12:44 p.m.

After the Indonesian Tsunami, NOAA installed more buoys at sea to detect tsunamis.  A buoy off Lima, Peru has  detected a 9-inch tsunami.

Scientists say that  small size is NOT necessarily reassuring because the depth of the ocean and the structure of the ocean floor can greatly influence the size of a tsunami

Information from the U.S. military
, filed by Jim Miklasewski | 12:21 p.m. ET

U.S. military officials say Chile has still not formally sought any US military assistance in response to the earthquake, "and frankly we don't expect them to ask."

As for the tsunami, U.S. Navy officials say they're expecting only a two 2-foot surge to hit the islands within hours.

As a result they have evacuated two military housing complexes on the Island of Oahu "as a precaution."  The Navy is NOT removing any ships from ports and sending them out to sea.

Update as of 1:11 p.m. ET:  The U.S. Navy will redeploy 4 ships out of port in Hawaii to open waters as a precaution against the approaching tsunami.

The two military housing complexes on the Island of Oahu were evacuated.

Olympic athletes in Chile head home | 11:52 p.m. ET

Chile's athletes and coaches are planning to skip the Olympic closing ceremonies following a magnitude-8.8 earthquake that has devastated their country.

Team spokesman Luis Alberto Santa Cruz said Saturday morning that the athletes and coaches are trying to get home from Vancouver as soon as possible because of the quake.

Chile has three Alpine skiers representing the country at the Vancouver Games. Noelle Barahona, Maui Gayme and Jorge Mandru are all finished competing, so they won't miss any remaining events.

Santa Cruz says that some of the coaches and athletes have been able to reach family and so far, they have found out that their loved ones are fine. Some are still trying to make contact.

Evacuation in Hawaii | 11:54 p.m. ET

Senators Daniel K. Inouye and Daniel K. Akaka are urging Hawaii residents to remain calm, listen to the news and follow evacuation orders after a 8.8 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Chile generated a tsunami expected to affect all coastlines in the Hawaii islands.

"We have not had voluntary tsunami evacuations in Hawaii since 1994 so this is a serious event.  If you live in an evacuation zone I urge you to gather your family and please leave the area," said Senator Inouye.  "It is important to remain calm, listen to the news, and follow the instructions being issued by state and county civil defense officials."

"This is not something to take lightly," said Senator Akaka. "I encourage all to stay calm, follow the directions of our State Civil Defense, and stay away from all shorelines."

The first waves are expected to hit the Big Island at 11:19 a.m. and the estimated arrival time for Honolulu is 11:25 a.m., according to the warning center. Some areas of Hawaii could see an initial 10 to 15 foot rise and waves could continue for at least six hours according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning cCnter.

Evacuation maps and information is available on the Tsunami Warning Center's Web site, but individuals on Twitter are alerting each other about not crowding the servers by needlessly hitting the site.

Tsunami Reaches Hawaii; Tides Fluctuate

EWA BEACH, Hawaii, Feb. 27, 2010

Tsunami Reaches Hawaii; Tides Fluctuate

Tsunami Forces Hawaii Tide to Recede, Surge as Effect of Chilean Quake Hits U.S.; Advisories Issued for Calif., Alaska

Like this Story? Share it:
  • Dr. Charles McCreery speaks on the phone at the Pacific Tsunami 
Warning Center, in Ewa Beach, Hawaii, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010, before a 
computer monitor showing the possible path of tsunami waves from an 
earthquake in Chile. Dr. Charles McCreery speaks on the phone at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, in Ewa Beach, Hawaii, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010, before a computer monitor showing the possible path of tsunami waves from an earthquake in Chile.  (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
  • Photo Essay Tsunami Alert A tsunami triggered by the Chilean earthquake raced across the Pacific Ocean, threatening Hawaii and the U.S. West Coast as well as hundreds of islands
  • Photo Essay Chile Earthquake An 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck central Chile early Saturday, southwest of the capital Santiago.
(CBS/AP)  Last Updated 5:54 p.m. ET

While urging caution, an official from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center gave an optimistic view about the tsunami hitting against the Hawaii coastline after Saturday morning's 8.8-magnitude earthquake in Chile.

"I think we dodged a bullet," Gerard Fryer, a geophysist for the tsunami center of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, which issues warnings to almost every country around the Pacific Rim and to most of the Pacific island states, told reporters in Hawaii Saturday afternoon. "It's sort of the best tsunami you think you can have."

The tsunami hit Hawaii around noon local time. The extent of the damage was not immediately clear, but the effects of the tsunami were obvious.

Water began pulling away from shore off Hilo Bay on the Big Island just before noon local time, exposing reefs and sending dark streaks of muddy, sandy water offshore. Water later washed over Coconut Island, a small park off the coast of Hilo.

CBS News Affiliate KGMB-TV in Honolulu reported that the water at Hilo Bay started to recede about 45 minutes after the tsunami was expected to hit the Hawaii coast. KGMB-TV reported that the tide was about a half foot of water lower, exposing rocks, which could be a sign of the impending tsunami.

The first waves in Hawaii were expected to hit shortly after 11 a.m. local time Saturday (4 p.m. EST) and measure roughly 8 feet at Hilo. A look at the shoreline at that time showed little abnormal wave activity, but officials continued to urge caution.

Most Pacific Rim nations did not immediately order evacuations, but advised people in low-lying areas to be on the lookout.

Earlier, sirens blared in Hawaii to alert residents to the potential waves. As the waves expected arrival drew near, roads into the tourist-heavy Waikiki were closed off. Police patrolled main roads, telling tourists to get off the streets.

On several South Pacific islands hit by a tsunami last fall, police evacuated tens of thousands of coastal residents.

Victor Sardina, a geophysicist at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the tsunami would be a series of big waves, rather than a wall of water.

Charles McCreery, the director of the center, said the tsunami would be "a lot like a fast high tide" and could pose dangers for several hours after the initial waves hit.

Special Section: Earthquake in Chile
Tsunami Warning for Hawaii (NOAA Alert, 2.27.10)
Hawaii's 1960 Tsunami

Tsunami warnings - the highest alert level - are also in effect for Guam, American Samoa and dozens of other Pacific islands, as well as Australia and New Zealand, Japan, the Philippines and Russia.

An advisory - the lowest level - includes California, Oregon, Washington state, parts of Alaska, and coastal British Colombia.

In Hawaii, boats and people near the coast were being evacuated. Hilo International Airport, located along the coast, was closed.

"These are dangerous, dangerous events," said John Cummings, spokesman for the Honolulu Emergency Management Department.

CBS News Pentagon correspondent David Martin reports that the U.S. Navy has sent ships to evacuate four low-lying facilities - one of them a hospital - on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.

The Navy was moving more than a half dozen vessels Saturday to try to avoid damage from the tsunami.

A frigate, three destroyers and two smaller vessels were being sent out of Pearl Harbor and a cruiser out of Naval Base San Diego. At the Pentagon, Navy spokesman Lt. Myers Vasquez said the ships will be safer out on the sea than if they were tied to piers where they could be banged around by the waves, meaning damage to the vessels as well as the piers.

Elsewhere in Hawaii, many private boats also left their docks to ride out the tsunami at sea.

In Honolulu, residents lined up at supermarkets to stock up on water, canned food and batteries. Cars lined up 15 long at several gas stations.

In a statement, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said officials were closely monitoring the situation: "FEMA stands ready to assist should a request for assistance be made, and does have pre-deployed assets in Hawaii, including food, water, generators and other resources. We urge all individuals to follow the direction provided by local officials.�

The first waves in Hawaii are expected to hit shortly after 11 a.m. local time Saturday (4 p.m. EST; 2100 GMT) and measure roughly 8 feet at Hilo. Most Pacific Rim nations however did not order evacuations, but advised people in low-lying areas to be on the lookout.

Unlike other tsunamis in recent years, emergency officials along the Pacific have hours to prepare and possibly evacuate residents.

"We've got a lot of things going for us," said Charles McCreery, the director of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, which issues warnings to almost every country around the Pacific Rim and to most of the Pacific island states. "We have a reasonable lead time.

"We should be able to alert everyone in harm's way to move out of the evacuation zones," he said.


Authorities are closing beaches in Northern California's San Mateo County, including beaches in Pacifica and Half Moon Bay, where the National Weather Service has predicted strong currents and choppy waves for several hours starting around 1 p.m. PT.

Sirens blared in Hawaii to alert residents to the impending waves, with authorities asking people living near the water to evacuate. On several South Pacific islands hit by a tsunami last fall, police evacuated tens of thousands of residents from the coast.

In Tonga, where nine people died in a Sept. 29 tsunami, police and defense forces began evacuating people from low-lying coastal areas as they warned residents that tsunami waves about three feet high could wash ashore within three hours.

"I can hear the church bells ringing to alert the people," National Disaster Office deputy director Mali'u Takai said. "We will move up to 50,000 people to the interior and away from the coasts."

Waves 6 feet above normal hit near Concepcion, Chile shortly after the quake.

A tsunami warning - the highest alert level - was also in effect for Guam, American Samoa, Samoa and dozens of other Pacific islands. An advisory - the lowest level - has been extended to include Oregon, Washington state, parts of Alaska, and coastal British Colombia.

The White House is keeping close watch on the Chilean quake, which has raised the possibility of a tsunami striking Hawaii. Presidential press secretary Robert Gibbs said the U.S. stands ready to help the Chilean people "in this hour of need."

American Samoa Lt. Gov. Aitofele Sunia activated emergency services and called on residents of shoreline villages to move to higher ground. Police in Samoa issued a nationwide alert to begin coastal evacuations. The tsunami is expected to reach the islands Saturday morning.

In French Polynesia, tsunami waves up to 6 feet high swept ashore, but no damage was immediately reported.

Catastrophic 8.8-Mag. Quake Strikes Chile
Images From Chile Earthquake
Video: Chile in a "State of Catastrophe"

Meanwhile, disaster management officials in Fiji said they have been warned to expect waves of as high as 7.5 feet to hit the northern and eastern islands of the archipelago and the nearby Tonga islands.

A lower-grade tsunami advisory was in effect for the coast of California and an Alaskan coastal area from Kodiak to Attu islands. Tsunami Center officials said they did not expect the advisory would be upgraded to a warning.

Waves were likely to hit Asian, Australian and New Zealand shores within 24 hours of Saturday's quake. A tsunami wave can travel at up to 600 mph, said Jenifer Rhoades, tsunami program manager at the National Weather Service in Washington, DC.

The sirens in Hawaii will also be sounded again three hours prior to the estimated arrival time.

McCreery said he didn't know how big the waves will be, but expected them to be the largest to hit Hawaii since 1964.

"If you're in an evacuation zone, police or civil defense volunteers would instruct you to evacuate, or instructions will come out over the radio and TV," said Shelly Ichishita, spokeswoman for the state's civil defense.

If coastal areas are evacuated, visitors in Waikiki would be moved to higher floors in their hotels, rather than moved out of the tourist district, which could cause gridlock.

Some Pacific nations in the warning area were heavily damaged by a tsunami last year.

On Sept. 29, a tsunami spawned by a magnitude-8.3 earthquake killed 34 people in American Samoa, 183 in Samoa and nine in Tonga. Scientists later said that wave was 46 feet high.

Past South American earthquakes have had deadly effects across the Pacific.

A tsunami after a magnitude-9.5 quake that struck Chile in 1960, the largest earthquake ever recorded, killed about 140 people in Japan, 61 in Hawaii and 32 in the Philippines.

That tsunami was about 3.3 to 13 feet in height, Japan's Meteorological Agency said.

Japanese public broadcaster NHK quoted earthquake experts as saying the tsunami would likely be tens of inches high and reach Japan in about 22 hours.

A tsunami of 11 inches was recorded after a magnitude-8.4 earthquake near Chile in 2001.

The Meteorological Agency said it was still investigating the likelihood of a tsunami in Japan and did not issue a formal coastal warning.

Australia, meanwhile, was put on a tsunami watch.

The Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami warning Saturday night for a "potential tsunami threat" to New South Wales state, Queensland state, Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island.

Any potential wave would not hit Australia until Sunday morning local time, it said.

New Zealand officials warned that "non-destructive" tsunami waves of less than three feet could hit the entire east coast of the country's two main islands and its Chatham Islands territory, some 300 miles east of New Zealand.

The Philippine Institute of Vulcanology and Seismology issued a low-level alert saying people should await further notice of a possible tsunami. It did not recommend evacuations.

Seismologist Fumihiko Imamura, of Japan's Tohoku University, told NHK that residents near ocean shores should not underestimate the power of a tsunami even though they may be generated by quakes on the other side of the ocean.

"There is the possibility that it could reach Japan without losing its strength," he said.


? MMX, CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

a 130-foot tsunami wave has already hit the Juan Fernandez Island.

Santiago Airport damaged - closed for 24 hours

February 27th, 2010 - 7:34 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt Santiago, 

Feb 27 (THAINDIAN NEWS) As an aftermath of the Chile earthquake, the Santiago airport was damaged, and it is going to remain closed for 24 hours. The airport officials said that due to the devastating earthquake the Santiago airport has also been closed down, till further notice, and therefore all the flights in and out of the airport have been canceled till the situation is under control, according to the airline officials. It is also been learnt from the airline officials, that the flights were being diverted to Mendoza in Argentina, for the time being.

The earthquake was so devastating that many buildings have collapsed like a game of cards. Many buildings are in complete shambles, and huge parts of the buildings have fallen onto the street, and are making the relief work all the more difficult. Trees and power lines have also been knocked down, and the situation is totally chaotic all over the earthquake ravaged region.

The massive earthquake of magnitude 8.8, had struck in the morning at 0634 GMT about 115km (70 miles) northeast of the city of Concepcion, and 325km southwest of the capital, Santiago. Apart from the earthquake more calamity can follow in the form of tsunami, as tsunami warnings have been issued for Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand and Pacific island nations. According to latest reports, a 130-foot tsunami wave has already hit the Juan Fernandez Island.

More at : Santiago Airport damaged - closed for 24 hours

4 hour Tsunami Map from Chile

Click on map for larger image

ClockRack download at PC Magazine

ClockRack download at PC Magazine -,2817,20432,00.asp


ISSUED AT 1045Z 27 FEB 2010







 ORIGIN TIME -  0634Z 27 FEB 2010
 DEPTH       -   55 KM
 MAGNITUDE   -  8.8


 GAUGE LOCATION        LAT   LON    TIME        AMPL         PER
 -------------------  ----- ------  -----  ---------------  -----
 IQUIQUE CL           20.2S  70.1W  0906Z   0.27M /  0.9FT  72MIN
 ANTOFAGASTA CL       23.2S  70.4W  0941Z   0.49M /  1.6FT  52MIN
 ARICA CL             18.5S  70.3W  1007Z   0.94M /  3.1FT  44MIN
 DART LIMA 32412      18.0S  86.4W  0941Z   0.24M /  0.8FT  36MIN
 CALDERA CL           27.1S  70.8W  0843Z   0.45M /  1.5FT  20MIN
 TALCAHUANO CL        36.7S  73.4W  0653Z   2.34M /  7.7FT  88MIN
 COQUIMBO CL          30.0S  71.3W  0852Z   1.32M /  4.3FT  30MIN
 CORRAL CL            39.9S  73.4W  0739Z   0.90M /  2.9FT  16MIN
 SAN FELIX CL         26.3S  80.1W  0815Z   0.53M /  1.7FT  08MIN
 VALPARAISO CL        33.0S  71.6W  0708Z   1.29M /  4.2FT  20MIN







 --------------------------------    ------------    ------------
 CHILE            TALCAHUANO         36.7S  73.1W    0729Z 27 FEB
                  VALPARAISO         33.0S  71.6W    0739Z 27 FEB
                  COQUIMBO           29.9S  71.3W    0801Z 27 FEB
                  CORRAL             39.8S  73.5W    0810Z 27 FEB
                  CALDERA            27.1S  70.8W    0821Z 27 FEB
                  ANTOFAGASTA        23.3S  70.4W    0844Z 27 FEB
                  IQUIQUE            20.2S  70.1W    0911Z 27 FEB
                  ARICA              18.5S  70.3W    0929Z 27 FEB
                  GOLFO DE PENAS     47.1S  74.9W    0934Z 27 FEB
                  PUERTO MONTT       41.5S  73.0W    1052Z 27 FEB
                  EASTER IS.         27.1S 109.4W    1205Z 27 FEB
                  PUNTA ARENAS       53.2S  70.9W    1213Z 27 FEB
                  PUERTO WILLIAMS    54.8S  68.2W    1404Z 27 FEB
 PERU             MOLLENDO           17.1S  72.0W    0936Z 27 FEB
                  SAN JUAN           15.3S  75.2W    0952Z 27 FEB
                  LA PUNTA           12.1S  77.2W    1045Z 27 FEB
                  PIMENTAL            6.9S  80.0W    1114Z 27 FEB
                  TALARA              4.6S  81.5W    1127Z 27 FEB
                  CHIMBOTE            9.0S  78.8W    1132Z 27 FEB
 ECUADOR          LA LIBERTAD         2.2S  81.2W    1202Z 27 FEB
                  ESMERELDAS          1.2N  79.8W    1234Z 27 FEB
                  BALTRA IS.          0.5S  90.3W    1313Z 27 FEB
 COLOMBIA         TUMACO              1.8N  78.9W    1253Z 27 FEB
                  BAHIA SOLANO        6.3N  77.4W    1327Z 27 FEB
                  BUENAVENTURA        3.8N  77.2W    1340Z 27 FEB
 ANTARCTICA       THURSTON IS.       72.0S 100.0W    1312Z 27 FEB
                  CAPE ADARE         71.0S 170.0E    1650Z 27 FEB
 PANAMA           PUERTO PINA         7.4N  78.1W    1331Z 27 FEB
                  PUNTA MALA          7.5N  79.9W    1334Z 27 FEB
                  PUNTA BURICA        8.0N  82.8W    1340Z 27 FEB
                  BALBOA HTS.         9.0N  79.6W    1457Z 27 FEB
 COSTA RICA       CABO MATAPALO       8.4N  83.3W    1344Z 27 FEB
                  PUERTO QUEPOS       9.4N  84.2W    1417Z 27 FEB
                  CABO SAN ELENA     10.9N  86.0W    1452Z 27 FEB
 NICARAGUA        SAN JUAN DL SUR    11.2N  85.9W    1452Z 27 FEB
                  PUERTO SANDINO     12.2N  86.8W    1512Z 27 FEB
                  CORINTO            12.5N  87.2W    1520Z 27 FEB
 PITCAIRN         PITCAIRN IS.       25.1S 130.1W    1455Z 27 FEB
 HONDURAS         AMAPALA            13.2N  87.6W    1520Z 27 FEB
 EL SALVADOR      ACAJUTLA           13.6N  89.8W    1531Z 27 FEB
 GUATEMALA        SIPICATE           13.9N  91.2W    1539Z 27 FEB
 FR. POLYNESIA    RIKITEA            23.1S 135.0W    1542Z 27 FEB
                  HIVA OA            10.0S 139.0W    1723Z 27 FEB
                  PAPEETE            17.5S 149.6W    1748Z 27 FEB
 MEXICO           PUERTO MADERO      14.8N  92.5W    1552Z 27 FEB
                  ACAPULCO           16.9N  99.9W    1615Z 27 FEB
                  MANZANILLO         19.1N 104.3W    1709Z 27 FEB
                  SOCORRO            18.8N 111.0W    1719Z 27 FEB
                  CABO SAN LUCAS     22.8N 110.0W    1749Z 27 FEB
                  MAZATLAN           23.2N 106.4W    1753Z 27 FEB
                  PUNTA ABREOJOS     26.7N 113.6W    1856Z 27 FEB
                  ENSENADA           31.8N 116.8W    2016Z 27 FEB
 COOK ISLANDS     RAROTONGA          21.2S 159.8W    1814Z 27 FEB
                  PENRYN IS.          8.9S 157.8W    1925Z 27 FEB
                  PUKAPUKA IS.       10.8S 165.9W    1950Z 27 FEB
 KIRIBATI         FLINT IS.          11.4S 151.8W    1836Z 27 FEB
                  MALDEN IS.          3.9S 154.9W    1934Z 27 FEB
                  CHRISTMAS IS.       2.0N 157.5W    2028Z 27 FEB
                  KANTON IS.          2.8S 171.7W    2112Z 27 FEB
                  TARAWA IS.          1.5N 173.0E    2258Z 27 FEB
 KERMADEC IS      RAOUL IS.          29.2S 177.9W    1912Z 27 FEB
 NIUE             NIUE IS.           19.0S 170.0W    1918Z 27 FEB
 NEW ZEALAND      EAST CAPE          37.7S 178.5E    1918Z 27 FEB
                  GISBORNE           38.7S 178.0E    1922Z 27 FEB
                  DUNEDIN            45.9S 170.5E    1952Z 27 FEB
                  NAPIER             39.5S 176.9E    1954Z 27 FEB
                  WELLINGTON         41.3S 174.8E    1955Z 27 FEB
                  MILFORD SOUND      44.6S 167.9E    2005Z 27 FEB
                  NORTH CAPE         34.4S 173.3E    2010Z 27 FEB
                  BLUFF              46.6S 168.3E    2030Z 27 FEB
                  LYTTELTON          43.6S 172.7E    2040Z 27 FEB
                  AUCKLAND(E)        36.7S 175.0E    2056Z 27 FEB
                  NELSON             41.3S 173.3E    2127Z 27 FEB
                  WESTPORT           41.8S 171.6E    2129Z 27 FEB
                  AUCKLAND(W)        37.1S 174.2E    2140Z 27 FEB
                  NEW PLYMOUTH       39.1S 174.1E    2219Z 27 FEB
 TONGA            NUKUALOFA          21.0S 175.2W    1940Z 27 FEB
 AMERICAN SAMOA   PAGO PAGO          14.3S 170.7W    1951Z 27 FEB
 SAMOA            APIA               13.8S 171.8W    2006Z 27 FEB
 JARVIS IS.       JARVIS IS.          0.4S 160.1W    2026Z 27 FEB
 WALLIS-FUTUNA    WALLIS IS.         13.2S 176.2W    2028Z 27 FEB
 TOKELAU          NUKUNONU IS.        9.2S 171.8W    2030Z 27 FEB
 FIJI             SUVA               18.1S 178.4E    2104Z 27 FEB
 AUSTRALIA        HOBART             43.3S 147.6E    2105Z 27 FEB
                  SYDNEY             33.9S 151.4E    2146Z 27 FEB
                  BRISBANE           27.2S 153.3E    2310Z 27 FEB
                  GLADSTONE          23.8S 151.4E    0101Z 28 FEB
                  CAIRNS             16.7S 145.8E    0159Z 28 FEB
                  MACKAY             21.1S 149.3E    0251Z 28 FEB
 HAWAII           HILO               19.7N 155.1W    2119Z 27 FEB
                  HONOLULU           21.3N 157.9W    2152Z 27 FEB
                  NAWILIWILI         22.0N 159.4W    2158Z 27 FEB
 PALMYRA IS.      PALMYRA IS.         6.3N 162.4W    2124Z 27 FEB
 TUVALU           FUNAFUTI IS.        7.9S 178.5E    2125Z 27 FEB
 VANUATU          ANATOM IS.         20.2S 169.9E    2137Z 27 FEB
                  ESPERITU SANTO     15.1S 167.3E    2235Z 27 FEB
 HOWLAND-BAKER    HOWLAND IS.         0.6N 176.6W    2154Z 27 FEB
 NEW CALEDONIA    NOUMEA             22.3S 166.5E    2218Z 27 FEB
 JOHNSTON IS.     JOHNSTON IS.       16.7N 169.5W    2245Z 27 FEB
 SOLOMON IS.      KIRAKIRA           10.4S 161.9E    2321Z 27 FEB
                  MUNDA               8.4S 157.2E    0001Z 28 FEB
                  GHATERE             7.8S 159.2E    0001Z 28 FEB
                  AUKI                8.8S 160.6E    0004Z 28 FEB
                  HONIARA             9.3S 160.0E    0004Z 28 FEB
                  FALAMAE             7.4S 155.6E    0017Z 28 FEB
                  PANGGOE             6.9S 157.2E    0020Z 28 FEB
 NAURU            NAURU               0.5S 166.9E    2331Z 27 FEB
 MARSHALL IS.     MAJURO              7.1N 171.4E    2339Z 27 FEB
                  KWAJALEIN           8.7N 167.7E    0013Z 28 FEB
                  ENIWETOK           11.4N 162.3E    0102Z 28 FEB
 MIDWAY IS.       MIDWAY IS.         28.2N 177.4W    0022Z 28 FEB
 KOSRAE           KOSRAE IS.          5.5N 163.0E    0026Z 28 FEB
 PAPUA NEW GUINE  AMUN                6.0S 154.7E    0036Z 28 FEB
                  KIETA               6.1S 155.6E    0038Z 28 FEB
                  RABAUL              4.2S 152.3E    0102Z 28 FEB
                  PORT MORESBY        9.3S 146.9E    0123Z 28 FEB
                  LAE                 6.8S 147.0E    0128Z 28 FEB
                  KAVIENG             2.5S 150.7E    0135Z 28 FEB
                  MADANG              5.2S 145.8E    0154Z 28 FEB
                  MANUS IS.           2.0S 147.5E    0214Z 28 FEB
                  WEWAK               3.5S 143.6E    0237Z 28 FEB
                  VANIMO              2.6S 141.3E    0258Z 28 FEB
 POHNPEI          POHNPEI IS.         7.0N 158.2E    0111Z 28 FEB
 WAKE IS.         WAKE IS.           19.3N 166.6E    0112Z 28 FEB
 CHUUK            CHUUK IS.           7.4N 151.8E    0213Z 28 FEB
 RUSSIA           MEDNNY IS          54.7N 167.4E    0236Z 28 FEB
                  UST KAMCHATSK      56.1N 162.6E    0302Z 28 FEB
                  PETROPAVLOVSK K    53.2N 159.6E    0333Z 28 FEB
                  URUP IS            46.1N 150.5E    0354Z 28 FEB
                  SEVERO KURILSK     50.8N 156.1E    0410Z 28 FEB
 MARCUS IS.       MARCUS IS.         24.3N 154.0E    0248Z 28 FEB
 INDONESIA        JAYAPURA            2.4S 140.8E    0302Z 28 FEB
                  WARSA               0.6S 135.8E    0345Z 28 FEB
                  MANOKWARI           0.8S 134.2E    0405Z 28 FEB
                  SORONG              0.8S 131.1E    0433Z 28 FEB
                  BEREBERE            2.5N 128.7E    0452Z 28 FEB
                  PATANI              0.4N 128.8E    0505Z 28 FEB
                  GEME                4.6N 126.8E    0512Z 28 FEB
 N. MARIANAS      SAIPAN             15.3N 145.8E    0303Z 28 FEB
 GUAM             GUAM               13.4N 144.7E    0311Z 28 FEB
 YAP              YAP IS.             9.5N 138.1E    0352Z 28 FEB
 BELAU            MALAKAL             7.3N 134.5E    0413Z 28 FEB
 JAPAN            KUSHIRO            42.9N 144.3E    0435Z 28 FEB
                  KATSUURA           35.1N 140.3E    0453Z 28 FEB
                  HACHINOHE          40.5N 141.5E    0509Z 28 FEB
                  SHIMIZU            32.8N 133.0E    0557Z 28 FEB
                  OKINAWA            26.2N 127.8E    0610Z 28 FEB
 PHILIPPINES      DAVAO               6.8N 125.7E    0527Z 28 FEB
                  PALANAN            17.1N 122.6E    0559Z 28 FEB
                  LEGASPI            13.2N 123.8E    0604Z 28 FEB
 CHINESE TAIPEI   HUALIEN            24.0N 121.6E    0626Z 28 FEB
                  HUALIEN            24.0N 121.7E    0626Z 28 FEB
                  CHILUNG            25.2N 121.8E    0654Z 28 FEB
                  TAITUNG            22.7N 121.2E    0655Z 28 FEB



Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Legal Guide for Bloggers

Legal Guide for Bloggers

Updated Feb 11 2009
Whether you're a newly minted blogger or a relative old-timer, you've been seeing more and more stories pop up every day about bloggers getting in trouble for what they post.

Like all journalists and publishers, bloggers sometimes publish information that other people don't want published. You might, for example, publish something that someone considers defamatory, republish an AP news story that's under copyright, or write a lengthy piece detailing the alleged crimes of a candidate for public office.

The difference between you and the reporter at your local newspaper is that in many cases, you may not have the benefit of training or resources to help you determine whether what you're doing is legal. And on top of that, sometimes knowing the law doesn't help - in many cases it was written for traditional journalists, and the courts haven't yet decided how it applies to bloggers.

But here's the important part: None of this should stop you from blogging. Freedom of speech is the foundation of a functioning democracy, and Internet bullies shouldn't use the law to stifle legitimate free expression. That's why EFF created this guide, compiling a number of FAQs designed to help you understand your rights and, if necessary, defend your freedom.

To be clear, this guide isn't a substitute for, nor does it constitute, legal advice. Only an attorney who knows the details of your particular situation can provide the kind of advice you need if you're being threatened with a lawsuit. The goal here is to give you a basic roadmap to the legal issues you may confront as a blogger, to let you know you have rights, and to encourage you to blog freely with the knowledge that your legitimate speech is protected.

Please note that this guide applies to people living in the US. We don't have the expertise or resources to speak to other countries' legal traditions, but we'd like to work with those who do. If you know of a similar guide for your own jurisdiction or feel inspired to research and write one, please let us know. We can link to it here.