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Chile Quake Triggers Tsunami in Pacific Region

A tsunami triggered by the Chilean earthquake has traveled thousands of kilometers across the Pacific Ocean, sending a surge of water ashore in Hawaii, New Zealand and islands in the South Pacific.

There were no immediate reports of major damage in any of the Pacific countries or territories, however the tsunami killed at least five people on an island off the coast of Chile.

Eleven others are reported missing on Chile's remote Robinson Crusoe island.

Fifteen hours after Saturday's earthquake struck Chile, the tsunami reached the U.S. island state of Hawaii, where residents had been evacuated from low-lying areas. Officials say waves there reached two meters, but caused no major damage.

Waves of about two meters have also hit the French Polynesian islands and New Zealand.

Tsunami warnings had been posted earlier in 50 countries and islands around the Pacific, but the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center later canceled them in all countries except Japan and Russia.

Japanese officials say waves of up to three meters could hit the coast Sunday.

It is hard to predict the wave length of any tsunami, or its exact path, until after it has hit the shore.

The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami is the most destructive on record. It was generated by a 9.0-magnitude underwater quake with an epicenter near Indonesia's Sumatra island. It killed about 150,000 people, most of them in south Asia and southeast Asia.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.