BREAKING NEWS

Tsunami grazes Americas but impact slight

SAN FRANCISCO/QUITO - Thousands ofpeople fled their homes along the Pacific coast of North andSouth America on Friday as a tsunami triggered by Japan'smassive earthquake reached the region but spared it from majordamage.

The giant wall of water lost much of its energy as itroared thousands of miles (km) across the Pacific Ocean,although many governments took no chances, ordering large-scaleevacuations of coastal areas, ports and refineries.

The West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center downgradedthe situation in California from a tsunami "warning" to an"advisory," and fears of a catastrophe proved unfounded.

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