According to researchers from the University of Hawaii, Hawaii residents should prepare for a massive tsunami.
These researchers have analyzed the chances of there being an earthquake measuring at least nine on the Richter scale in the Aleutian Islands – almost 2,500 miles north of Hawaii.
Although an earthquake there wouldn’t affect Hawaiians, the tremor would be so powerful that it could cause a mega-tsunami which could wreak havoc on the US islands, which are home to 1.42million people.
The experts say that there is almost a tenth of a chance that this could occur within the next 50 years.
Lead author of the study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research Solid Earth, Rhett Butler, said: “Having no record history of mega-tsunamis in Hawaii, and given the tsunami threat to Hawaii, we devised a model for magnitude-9 earthquake rates.
“These are rare events. They don’t happen all the time but there is a chance for them and our effort here is to try to define what the chance might be.”
The results of the study are based on numerical models from the risks of the five biggest earthquakes since the beginning of the 20th century, which are; Tohoko in 2011, Sumatra-Andaman in 2004, Alaska in 1964, Chile in 1960, and Kamchatka in 1952.
Mr Butler continued: “These five events represent half of the seismic energy that has been released globally since 1900.
“The events differed in details, but all of them generated great tsunamis that caused enormous destruction.”
The study concluded that Hawaii was “especially vulnerable to a tsunami created by an earthquake in the subduction zone of the Aleutian Islands”.
However, co-author Neil Frazer said that Hawaiians are vulnerable in general to tsunamis, but warned that one originating from the Aleutian Islands would be particularly dangerous due to the relatively close proximity of it.
He said: “This is the one that’s more important because it’s very close, so we have very little time to evacuate.”
The warning follows on from the predictions that a huge earthquake could be on its way.
Authorities have been urged to begin preparing disaster plans after yesterday’s tremor in Tokyo.
The earthquake, measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale, is the latest in a number of quakes shaking Japan in the last month.
Just days ago a prominent scientist said all the tremors are linked and building up to a catastrophic earthquake.