Tsunami warning along California Coastline


Pray for those in Chile and along the coast.

Huge Chile earthquake brings tsunami advisory for California coastline
Tsunami advisory
A tsunami advisory was issued Wednesday for coastal areas of California after a magnitude 8.3 earthquake struck Chile. (National Tsunami Warning Center)
By MATT HAMILTON contact the reporter Earthquakes Tsunamis Weather National Weather Service

A tsunami advisory has been issued for coastal areas of California after a magnitude 8.3 earthquake hit central Chile on Wednesday.

The tsunami advisory extends from San Onofre State Beach in San Clemente, about 55 miles north of San Diego, to Ragged Point, about 50 miles north of San Luis Obispo, according to the National Tsunami Warning Center.

National weather officials expect the tsunami will begin to affect the California coast about 4:46 a.m. in Newport Beach and travel swiftly, arriving a minute later in the Port of Los Angeles. By 5:06 a.m., the tsunami will arrive in Santa Barbara, and by 5:10 a.m., in Port San Luis.

8.3 quake strikes near Chile’s capital, prompting strong aftershocks
8.3 quake strikes near Chile’s capital, prompting strong aftershocks
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A “widespread inundation of land is not expected” for these advisory areas, with the tsunami wave predicted to reach up to 1 foot in the Port of Los Angeles and Pismo Beach. Forecasters expect strong currents and dangerous waves, and the ocean current could be especially hazardous for several hours, according to the Tsunami Warning Center.
“Anybody is going to be susceptible to this. It’s not like a storm — where it only affects a particular area or southwest-facing beaches,” said Stuart Seto, a weather specialist with the National Weather Service. “This is like a very long wave. But the first wave may not be the largest. It may go on for many hours.”

In anticipation of dangerous currents, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department announced that all beaches, harbors and marinas would close there as of 4:00 a.m. No evacuation orders were issued in Orange County. The Ventura County sheriff’s department urged residents to use “extra caution” around beaches and instructed mariners to also use additional prudence.

In Chile, the powerful earthquake was followed by at least three aftershocks above magnitude 6, according to the U.S. Geological Service.

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Those along Chile’s Pacific shore, from Puerto Aysen to Arica, were ordered to evacuate and seek higher ground.

The National Weather Service said that for Hawaii, the initial wave of the tsunami would arrive at 3:11 a.m. local time. A major tsunami was not expected for Hawaii, but sea level changes and strong currents could pose a hazard to swimmers and boaters as well as others near the shore. The threat could continue for several hours after the first wave hits, the weather service said.

In recent years, powerful earthquakes have struck other parts of the Pacific Rim, generating tsunamis that have proved deadly once arriving in California.

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A magnitude 8.8 earthquake rocked Chile in Feb. 27, 2010, with tsunami waves as high as 3 feet arriving in Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz, according to data compiled by the state Department of Conservation. Currents reached speeds of up to 15 knots, or about 17 mph, far above the 8-knot threshold needed for currents to damage piers and harbors.

The Feb. 27 tsunami set boats loose and damaged 20 docks in Ventura Harbor. Shelter Island in San Diego also reported significant damage.

Less than two weeks later on March 11, 2011, a tsunami battered parts of the California coast after the deadly earthquake hit off the northeastern coast of Japan.
The tsunami brought 6- to 8-foot surges that flooded beaches and harbors, splintering docks, crushing scores of boats and triggering the evacuations of residents near the shore. One person died, and marinas and harbors up and down the coast saw extensive damage.

The waves from the Japanese earthquake were significantly larger than the ones expected to hit Southern California early Thursday.

After the 8.3 magnitude temblor hit Wednesday, tsunami waves of 15 feet were observed at Coquimbo, Chile, while Valparaiso and Quintero saw waves of about 6 feet. Between 3- and 10-foot waves could arrive in French Polynesia. Waves between 1 foot and 3 feet were possible along some coasts in Mexico, Ecuador, Japan, Russia and New Zealand.



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