Agency cancels Hawaii tsunami watch after huge Pacific quake

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HONOLULU — The U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center cancelled a tsunami watch Thursday for Hawaii that was issued after a huge earthquake occurred in a remote area between New Zealand and Tonga.

The agency previously cancelled a tsunami warning it had issued for American Samoa.

The magnitude 8.1 quake struck the Kermadec Islands region.

The quake forced thousands of people to evacuate in New Zealand but did not appear to pose a widespread threat to lives or major infrastructure.

It was the largest in a series of tremors that hit the region over several hours, including two earlier quakes that registered magnitude 7.4 and magnitude 7.3.

The Associated Press