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Tsunami expert: 'We dodged a bullet'

HILO, Hawaii (AP) — An official at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says Hawaii "dodged a bullet" after a major earthquake sent powerful waves roiling around the Pacific.

It still will be about an hour before officials will be willing to give an all-clear in Hawaii, but there were no immediate reports of major damage around the Pacific rim. just tidal surges that reached up to about seven feet in some island chains.

Gerard Fryer, a geophysist for the tsunami center, defended the decision to urge evacuations of coastal areas, saying "better safe than sorry."