A tsunami warning was in effect for the California coast on Saturday morning due to the eruption of a volcano near Tonga in the Pacific Ocean.
Officials said many beaches and marinas from Orange County to the Bay Area have been temporarily closed as a precaution due to outgoing waves. Officials urged people to stay away from the water and stay away from the beach.
“We advise people to stay out of the water and away from beaches,” said Kristan Lund, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Oxnard.
He said the warning was “unusual” because it was caused by a volcanic eruption rather than an undersea earthquake and because it extended to the entire west coast. He said the entire coast is at risk, including parts of the islands far from the volcano, such as Port Avalon.
He said the tide could “rise a lot around the island and can also bounce off the beaches”. As of 8:30 a.m., he said, the Port of San Luis in San Luis Obispo County was experiencing a storm of just over a foot.
The National Weather Service said tsunami activity was expected to reach Monterey at around 7:30 a.m. and San Francisco around 8:10 a.m. Southern California beaches were expected to see impacts at 7:50 a.m. Beaches and piers. Berkeley closed its marina and urged people to seek higher ground.
The NWS said: “If you are in this coastal area, stay away from the beach, ports and marinas. Do not come close to the coast for tsunami watch. Please observe instructions from local emergency officials.”
While no major flooding is expected, the Orange County Police Department said in an advisory that a tsunami can produce dangerous currents and tidal surges throughout the day that make water entry dangerous. Strong currents were expected in the ports and bays for several hours.
Los Angeles County officials have issued the following warning to coastal areas:
Get out of the water, offshore and away from ports, marinas, breakwaters, bays, and inlets.
Do not go near the coast to observe a tsunami.
Do not return to the beach until local emergency officials tell you it is safe.
Officials said some coastal areas could see waves as high as two to two feet. “The main impacts are expected to be strong currents, coastal flooding and potential flooding in low-lying areas. Head to higher ground,” said the NWS.
The tsunami was caused by the eruption of an underwater volcano on Saturday. The tsunami triggered alerts across large areas of the Pacific Ocean, including Hawaii and the West Coast.
In Hawaii, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported that waves came ashore from one foot in Nawiliweli, Kauai, Hawaii, to 2.7 feet in Hanalei. Describing the situation in Hawaii, the center said: “We are relieved that no damage was reported and there was only minor flooding on all islands.”
In Tonga, a video posted on social media showed large waves reaching coastal areas and swirling around homes and buildings.
In Hawaii, Alaska, and along the Pacific coast of the United States, residents have been asked to move away from the shoreline to higher ground and respond to specific instructions from local emergency management officials, said Dave Snyder, National Tsunami’s tsunami warning coordinator. Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska.
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