Giant earthquake in Chile with more than 50 aftershocks expected to generate tsunami

(Saturday, 2/27/10; 6:48 pm)Tsunami warning lifted for Hawaii

The tsunami reached the Big Island of Hawaii, 6,700 miles from Chile, about 4 p.m. Eastern time, according to reports. Initial reports said the tsunami, first spotted in Hilo Bay, hadn’t produced the large wave that had been feared. Those fears had led to evacuation of 100,000 people.

There were no initial reports of damage. Hawaii was expected to be among the hardest-hit areas. According to a Hawaiian civil-defense officer quoted by The Wall Street Journal, five surges of 6 to 12 inches in height had reached the Big Island and had been less destructive than feared.

The tsunami was predicted to come ashore in Japan by 10 p.m. Eastern, according to the National Weather Service’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. Japan is about 10,700 miles from Chile and 4,000 miles from Hawaii.

Chile has suffered massive destruction from a magnitude 8.8 earthquake.

The quake, one of the biggest in years and capable of causing catastrophic damage, struck just after 3:30 in the morning and was centered near Concepción, Chile’s second-biggest city, located about 200 miles southwest of Santiago, the capital. As multiple aftershocks continued to rock southern Chile hours after the first quake, authorities rushed to assess casualties and damages to roads, phone and power grids.

More destruction is possible across the Pacific Ocean as a tsunami travels across the ocean at 100s of miles per hour.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii sent out an advisory that a tsunami was possible in the northern Pacific, including the U.S. West Coast and Alaska. The warning are being spread as far away as Australia. Click here for live info from the NY Times.

The center noted that tsunami wave heights are difficult to predict because they can vary significantly along a coast due to the local topography.

Some Pacific nations in the warning area were heavily damaged by a tsunami last year. On Sept. 29, a tsunami spawned by a magnitude-8.3 earthquake killed 34 people in American Samoa, 183 in Samoa and nine in Tonga. Scientists later said that wave was 46 feet (14 meters) high.
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Past South American earthquakes have had deadly effects across the Pacific.

Flight canceled after two Delta regional flight attendants get into fight

We have had flights diverted and canceled for many reasons, but this it a first for me. A Delta Connection flight, operated by Pinnacle Airlines, that has no relationship with Delta other than a similar paint job, was canceled because of a disagreement between two flight attendants.

Two female flight attendants got into a verbal argument and the pilot decided to cancel the flight, Amy Howell, owner of Howell Marketing Strategies, which represents Pinnacle Airlines, told FoxNews.com.

“They told us we had to get off the plane because stewardesses were fighting,” said passenger Corey Minton.

Passengers were transferred to alternative flights.

New airport surveillance cameras fitted with operational alarms

At first, I thought this articles indicated that cameras would alert guards when someone appeared to pass through a secure area, but the alarms are simpler. They will alert TSA and airport security personnel whenever the equipment is malfunctioning.

Somehow, I don’t think that this will eliminate the need to test this equipment each day. The malfunction alarm might malfunction itself. That’s the nature of all of these mechanical devices.

The security camera’s in Newark were not functioning for days, an example of poor quality control. More complex equipment won’t help poor supervision.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says it is installing the alarms in the wake of a security breach last month that closed a terminal for several hours, causing flight delays that rippled around the world.

Authorities say a man slipped under a rope barrier and walked past a security checkpoint to say goodbye to his girlfriend.

Officials discovered that cameras at the checkpoint had not been storing images for several days. They were forced to retrieve footage from cameras operated by Continental Airlines.