Samoa quake prompts California tsunami advisory
A tsunami advisory was issued for the California coast Tuesday after a powerful earthquake struck in the South Pacific near American Samoa.
Although no inundating waves were expected to hit California, the National Weather Service warned that some strong currents and dangerous waves were possible beginning around 9 p.m.
The magnitude-8.0 temblor struck at 10:48 a.m. California time in the ocean and triggered a tsunami that leveled at least one Samoan village. Early media reports indicated that as many as 20 people had been killed.
The National Weather Service issued a tsunami advisory for the California coast, stretching from the Mexican border to the Oregon/Washington border. It estimates the waves will be less than 50 centimeters high in our region and should not result in any damage to our coastal communities or a need for an evacuation of coastal areas.
“We recommend that coastal residents stay out of the water and boaters stay docked tonight due to the strong currents and choppy waters. While we do not expect any damaging waves or inundation, for safety purposes we are discouraging people from going to the beach or harbors and marinas to view the event,” said Ron Lane, director of the San Diego County Office of Emergency Services.
The tsunami wave event is expected to arrive along the San Diego coast shortly after 9 p.m., and will increase in strength for the next few hours.
To learn more about the tsunami advisory please visit //wcatwc.arh.noaa.gov/. The San Diego County Office of Emergency Services “Tsunamis: Know What To Do!” video is featured at the bottom of the page and can also be viewed at www.readysandiego.org.
“Coastal residents are advised to stay out of the water, off the beach and away from harbors and marinas,” according to the NWS. “Wave heights and currents are amplified by irregular shoreline and are difficult to predict. The initial wave may not be the largest. Later waves may be larger. Mariners in water deeper than 600 feet should not be affected.”
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