Tsunami advisory in effect for U.S. West Coast after volcanic eruption: “Move away from the shore and head to high ground”

A tsunami advisory is in effect for the west coast of the United States and Alaska after a volcano erupted in the Pacific. “A tsunami is happening,” said the The National Weather Service’s National Tsunami Warning Center said the Saturday.

“Stay away from the shore and head for higher ground,” he said, warning that the first wave might not be the biggest.

A tsunami advisory – which means “a dangerous wave is on its way– has been issued for the following areas, stretching from southern California to the Alaskan coastline, according to the warning center:

  • The California coast, from the California-Mexico border to the Oregon-California border, including San Francisco Bay.
  • The Oregon Coast from the Oregon-California border to the Oregon-Washington border, including the Columbia River estuary coast.
  • The outer Washington State coast from the Oregon-Washington border to Slip Point, the Columbia River estuary coast and the Juan de Fuca Strait coast.
  • North Coast of British Columbia and Haida Gwaii, Central Coast and Northeast Vancouver Island, Outer West Coast of Vancouver Island, Strait of Juan de Fuca Coast.
  • The inner and outer coast of Southeast Alaska from the BC-Alaska border to Cape Fairweather, Alaska.
  • Southern Alaska and Alaska Peninsula: Pacific coasts from Cape Fairweather, Alaska to Unimak Pass, Alaska.
  • Aleutian Islands: Unimak Pass, Alaska, to Attu, Alaska, including the Pribilof Islands.

An advisory has also been issued for Hawaii. It was canceled later, after the wave height began to decrease.

“Small changes in sea level, strong or unusual currents may persist for several additional hours in some coastal areas and appropriate coastal areas and appropriate caution should be exercised by boaters and swimmers,” the Pacific Tsunami said. Warning Center. tweeted.

The advisories were issued after an underwater volcano erupted on Saturday near the Pacific nation of Tonga. The damage there was unclear as all internet connectivity with Tonga was lost on Saturday night, according to Doug Madory, director of internet analytics for network intelligence firm Kentik, The Associated Press reported. .

A tsunami warning was in effect for the entire archipelago, according to the Tonga Meteorological Service, and waves of 2.7 feet were detected, according to data from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, according to the AP.

Tonga volcano eruption
This satellite image taken by Himawari-8, a Japanese weather satellite, shows an underwater volcanic eruption in the peaceful nation of Tonga on January 15, 2022.

Japan Meteorological Agency via AP

In California, the governor’s office of emergency services said the height of the tsunami must have been 1 to 2 feet, based on what was observed in Hawaii. Flooding was then reported near the Port of Santa Cruz and some residents were evacuated. Officials also said more than 100 people evacuated the Berkeley marina, CBS SF Bay Area reports.

Washington was seeing tsunami waves of less than a foot, but forecasters warned later waves could be larger.

“A tsunami advisory remains in effect for the Washington Coast and the Strait of Juan de Fuca where 1-3 foot waves are likely,” the National Weather Service in Seattle tweeted. “That said, strong waves and currents cannot be ruled out for any part of WA’s coastline, including Puget Sound and the Salish Sea.”

People living on board along the US coast have been asked to take shelter.

A tsunami advisory is one level below a warning – and one step above a watch. This means dangerous 1-3 foot waves and strong currents are expected.

“Remember that a tsunami probably won’t look like a classic ‘breaking wave’; rather, it’s a massive surge of water that can rise quickly and with great power,” noted the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.

The tsunami warning center said some impacts “could continue for several hours or even days after the first wave arrives”. Subsequent waves can be larger than any initial wave, and “each wave can last anywhere from 5 to 45 minutes as a wave encroaches and recedes,” according to the warning center.

Signs of a tsunami include strong currents, a receding or rapidly receding shoreline, and unusual waves and sounds. “Tsunami can appear as water moving rapidly out to sea, a gentle rising tide like a flood without a breaking wave, like a series of breaking waves, or a foamy wall of water,” the National Center said. tsunami warning.

Dave Snider, tsunami warning coordinator for the Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska, said it was not “everyday experience” for a warning to be issued for this length of coastline. “I don’t know when was the last time,” he said.

“I hope this elevates the significance and severity for our citizens.”

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