Local residents advised to stay out of the water today because of tsunami

By City News Service

San Diegans are being advised to stay off the beaches and out of the water today in the wake of an 8.9 earthquake in Japan that spawned a tsunami.

Authorities were expecting a surge of 2.3 feet at La Jolla beginning at 8:41 a.m., with smaller heights elsewhere around the same time. The wave is expected about 45 minutes after low tide.

Beaches and adjacent waters are not closed, but officials say being there is not a good idea.

There's no reason to be alarmed, just be aware'' of the tsunami advisory,'' said Maurice Luque of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.We don't expect any inundation of water.''

The surge from the tsunami will likely be less than what was seen during the rain storms of the past couple of months, Luque said.

He said about a dozen extra lifeguards were called in to work, just in case, and 30 police officers are patrolling the San Diego coastline.

A man who identified himself as Richard told KUSI he was unconcerned.

Not at all -- people are out and there's been no warnings or anything so I think it will be pretty mild," he said.

Richard told the station he would leave if warning signs were posted.

According to the National Weather Service, the surge could last for 10-12 hours, producing strong currents that could be dangerous to swimmers, boaters and coastal structures.

The initial wave might not be the largest, and an irregular coastline could increase wave heights in some areas, according to the advisory.

The tsunami has already struck Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest.

Luque urged San Diegans to not call 911 except for emergencies, because people looking for information are tying up the lines. Information about the tsunami alert can be obtained at (619) 570-1070, he said.



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