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Tsunami warning issued for California beaches due to volcano

A tsunami advisory was in effect for the California coast Saturday morning due to a volcanic eruption near the peaceful nation of Tonga.

Officials urged people to avoid beaches and marinas on Saturday morning.

The National Weather Service said tsunami activity was expected to hit Monterey around 7:30 a.m. and San Francisco around 8:10 a.m. Southern California beaches were supposed to see the impacts begin around 7:50 a.m. Some beaches and piers in Orange County have been closed. Saturday morning. Berkeley closed its marina and urged people to seek higher ground.

Officials said some areas could see “low flooding and minor flooding.”

“If you are located in this coastal area,” NWS said. “Stay away from the beach and harbors and marinas. Don’t go to the coast to watch the tsunami. Pay attention to the instructions of your local emergency officials.

Los Angeles County officials issued the following advisory for coastal areas:

  • Get out of the water, off the beach and away from ports, marinas, breakwaters, bays and coves.
  • Do not go to the shore to observe the tsunami
  • Do not return to the coast until local emergency officials advise it is safe.

Officials said some coastal areas could see wave heights of 1 to 2 feet. “The main impacts are expected to be strong rip currents, coastal flooding and flooding of low lying areas is possible. Move to higher ground,” NWS said.

The tsunami was caused by the eruption of an underwater volcano on Saturday. It brought tsunami warnings to large swathes of the Pacific, including Hawaii and the West Coast.

In Hawaii, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported waves crashing from 1 foot at Nawiliwili, Kauai, Hawaii to 2.7 feet at Hanalei. “We are relieved that no damage was reported and only minor flooding across all islands,” the center said, describing the situation in Hawaii.

In Tonga, video posted on social media showed large waves washing up in coastal areas, swirling around homes and buildings.

In Hawaii, Alaska and along the U.S. Pacific Coast, residents were urged to move away from the coast to higher ground and heed specific instructions from their local emergency management officials, a said Dave Snider, tsunami warning coordinator for the National Tsunami Warning Center in Palmier, Alaska.

“We don’t issue reviews for this length of coast like we did – I don’t know when was the last time – but it’s really not an everyday experience,” he said. “I hope this elevates the significance and severity for our citizens.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Los Angeles Times

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