Monday, March 14, 2011

Japan tsunami grazes Americas but impact light

SAN FRANCISCO/SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Tsunamis triggered by Japan's devastating earthquake that prompted evacuations on the Pacific coast of North and South America caused flooding as far away as Chile Saturday, but damage was limited.

The tsunami lost much of its energy as it moved thousands of miles (km) across the Pacific Ocean, although governments took no chances and ordered large-scale evacuations of coastal areas, ports and refineries.

Despite the power of Japan's biggest-ever quake and the tsunami from which the toll of dead or missing was expected to exceed 1,800, the tsunami waves were relatively benign as they rolled into the Americas, causing only isolated flooding, and fears of a catastrophe proved unfounded.


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