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According to several news sources, Kailua-Kona has been affected by this morning’s tsunami waves resulting from the 8.9-magnitude earthquake in Japan. Click here to see photos of the damage from Kona.
The fifth largest earthquake ever recorded hit Japan on Friday. The magnitude-8.9 offshore quake caused 23-foot tsunami waves, sweeping away boats, cars and homes. Hundreds have been confirmed dead and hundreds are missing.
The waves reached the US in the morning, causing damage to Hawaii and the west coast. According to Star Advertiser, Hawaii’s local news source, the Big Island Mayor Mayor Billy Kenoi’s office confirmed that “damaging waves” hit Kailua-Kona around 5:30 a.m. The waves caused relatively minor but widespread damage in the area. Also, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense official John Drummond, a foot of water rushed into the lobby of the King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel.
Kaulua-Kona has played host to the Ironman World Championship since 1981. The Ironman World Championship is considered one of the most prestigious and popular triathlons in the world.
The city of Kenting, home of Ironman 70.3 Taiwan, has been spared. The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) has lifted a tsunami warning. According to CWB data, the biggest waves that reached Taiwan after the earthquake were detected at Wushih, in northeastern Taiwan’s Yilan County, but they had a height of just 12 centimeters.
Check back for more information on this developing story.