French Pacific islands brace for Japan quake waves

11th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Authorities in the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia ordered residents on Friday to evacuate coastal areas for fear of waves caused by a huge earthquake in Japan.

Local authorities urged residents in northern parts of the main island and along the whole east coast of the nearby Loyalty Islands "to evacuate their homes and reach high ground."

It forecast waves of up to a metre (three feet) to reach the archipelago by early Saturday -- far smaller than those that flooded parts of Japan but still judged a threat to coastal communities on the remote territory.

Authorities in French Polynesia, another Pacific archipelago, said they were bracing for waves up to four metres high.

© 2011 AFP

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