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Tsunami hits French Polynesia; Pacific on watch

This image obtained from the National Oceanic and

This image obtained from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on February 27, 2010 shows a model of the preliminary forecast of the tsunami triggered by the 8.8 earthquake in Chile. Photo Credit: Getty Images

PAPEETE, French Polynesia (AP) — Tsunami waves up to 6 feet (2 meters) high have struck parts of French Polynesia, but no damage was immediately reported.

Residents were being warned early Sunday morning that tsunamis can consist of several waves and they should remain vigilant.

Tonga and the Cook Islands were evacuating coastal areas as the waves were expected to hit later in the morning.

On Tahiti, traffic was banned on roads less than 500 meters from sea. Residents on islands of low elevation were told to get to high ground.

Monique Richeton, mayor of Rikitea, said the first wave struck Gambier early Sunday at less than one meter and no damage was reported.

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