A California tsunami advisory is still in effect Thursday after a coastal earthquake in Chile registering 8.3-magnitude hit on Wednesday. Warnings have been issued for southern and central California, covering about 300 miles of coastline ranging from the southern tip of Orange County to most of San Luis Obispo County.
Fox News reports that county Office Emergency Management authorities in California are warning people to cease waterfront activities for the time being.
“The tsunami waves may rise less than one foot in height, but there is a possibility of a surge of waves and currents that may impact the Los Angeles County beaches and harbor areas.”
KTLA 5 adds that the California tsunami advisory had forecasters predicting that the “fast-moving tsunami would begin to impact the coastline starting at 4:46 a.m. in Newport Beach, arriving in the Los Angeles Harbor just one minute later,” according to the National Tsunami Warning Center.
It was also predicted to arrive in Santa Barbara by 5:06 a.m. and in Port San Luis around 5:10 a.m. It was just before 6:45 a.m. that the weather service reported it intends to keep the tsunami warning in effect “until further notice.”
The California tsunami advisory didn’t anticipate any flooding or severe damage, but it was expected to include strong currents or waves that could put those in danger who are in or near the water. Currents could also pose a potential danger to swimmers, boaters, and coastal structures after the tsunami’s arrival hours later.
Although warnings about the tsunami’s impact were issued for the early morning hours, the National Weather Service says that it could take “several hours for waves to peak.”
A statement released by Sgt. Robert Boese of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department relays the same message that the weather service did for the California tsunami advisory by explaining that sea levels could rise just under 12 inches.
“Well, when you think about it, when you look at it vertically, 1 foot of water isn’t that big of a deal. But when you look at the amount of volume of water that is being pushed around 1-feet high, there’s a lot of kinetic energy behind it.
“We are telling people to stay away, because that can potentially knock boats off, boats that are not properly tied. It could loosen them, knock them into other boats, cause boats to sink, knock people into the water, potentially trap people in the water as they fall off the docks and things of that nature.”
[Photo Credit: Tsunami Warning Center]