In the wake of the massive earthquake (click for live blog) that struck Japan Friday, tsunami warnings have been issued for the west coast of the United States (it is expected to hit Hawaii around 3am local time; the National Guard is on standby).
Hawaii hotels are "implementing a vertical evacuation," Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Associated, told the Honolulu Star Advertiser. "We are in touch with all hotels and they have an evacuation process in order," he added. In a "vertical evacuation", hotel guests are moved to the higher floors.
While Honolulu International Airport remains open, seven or eight jets headed towards the Hawaiian islands have turned around, according to local KPUA Radio.
Tourism officials say that hotels in Waikiki are nearly full in preparation for the Honolulu Festival meant to start on Friday.
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