(NEW YORK) — A tsunami warning was downgraded to an advisory for the state of Hawaii this morning, following a 7.7 earthquake off the coast of British Columbia Saturday night.
Although waves up to six feet were predicted, the first waves that reached the islands were much smaller.
“We appear at this stage to be very, very fortunate,” said Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie.
Residents in low lying areas were evacuated.
Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle said while the waves were not as big as expected, officials have to remain cautious.
“These events are capricious. They’re dangerous. You have to always err on the side of safety,” Carlisle said.
Carlisle told ABC News affiliate KITV that it is now safe for residents from the evacuated areas to return home and roads were reopening.
But Carlisle said he won’t give the “all clear” because previous incidences show the danger might not be over.
“In some instances, after the last great warning, there was danger that lasted for two full days in certain areas. We do not want somebody to go into the water and risk that type of danger,” he said.
The 7.7 quake that triggered the tsunami warnings was centered around an island north of Vancouver in Canada.
A 5.8 aftershock was reported just after the first earthquake.
No major damage has been reported.
Jay Albrecht with the National Weather Service said the quake’s impact was felt as far south as San Francisco.
“There is a tsunami advisory that’s been issued for the Southern Oregon and Northern California coast and that goes from about 80 miles northwest of San Francisco, northward to a location about 10 miles southwest of Florence, Ore.,” Albrecht said.
Tsunami advisories were canceled for Canada and Oregon.
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