Tsunami Capsizing Boats in Santa Cruz

By RJ Middleton
|  Friday, Mar 11, 2011  |  Updated 5:15 PM PDT
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Dozens of boats were damaged Friday as the tsunami struck <a title=Santa Cruz." />

Dozens of boats were damaged Friday as the tsunami struck Santa Cruz.

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As the effects of the tsunami roll ashore, many boats in Santa Cruz harbor are being either capsized, pulled out to sea, or both.

The areas of most concern, according to the National Weather Service, are the north end of Monterey Bay near the Santa Cruz harbor. The Santa Cruz boardwalk is closed.

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Caltrans is sending portable toilets to the convergence of Highways 92 and 35, where many seaside residents have gone to seek higher ground.

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Crescent City is seeing the largest of the first waves from the tsunami, according to viewers and reporters in the field.

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Waves of 2-5 feet are expected to arrive up and down the Northern California coast around 8 a.m. today, following Friday's 8.9 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Japan. (Arrival times for the entire California coast are here.)

BART has not altered its schedules, nor has the Golden Gate Ferry or Golden Gate Transit. The 6:30 a.m. Vallejo ferry has replaced service with a bus bridge to transport riders to San Francisco. It resumes normal runs at 9 a.m.

The areas of most concern, according to the National Weather Service, are the north end of Monterey Bay near the Santa Cruz harbor. The Santa Cruz boardwalk is closed.

The SFPD has closed the upper and lower Great Highway and the National Park Service has closed Ocean Beach, Baker Beach, China Beach and Fort Funston.

Click here for a map of the affected areas. Full tsunami information is here.

The tsunami is scheduled to arrive in the San Francisco area during low tide. The USGS said the massive Japan quake struck off-shore 81 miles (130 km) east of Sendai in Honshu at a depth of 15.2 miles (24 km).

A US Geological Survey spokesman told NBC's Today in the Bay reporter Christie Smith that the quake in Japan was "900 times stronger than the 6.9 Loma Prieta" earthquake that struck the Bay Area in 1989. The spokesman said it is likely people "felt shaking for up to two minutes."

Aftershocks of magnitude 5.0 happened every eight minutes. The

San Mateo County has a more strict warning:

All beaches and low lying coastal areas should be evacuated immediately.

Low-lying areas west of Highway 1, move to high ground east of the highway. Linda Mar area of Pacifica, evacuate to the east of Adobe Drive. El Granada, evacuate to the east of Coronado Street

If possible, leave the coast. Law enforcement personnel will direct you. If you have no other place to go, evacuation shelters are being established at 

-Terra Nova High School

-Oceana High School

-Farallone View Elementary School

-Pescadero High School

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A tsunami warning has been issued for most Bay Area counties by the National Weather Service.

The expected arrival time of a tsunami in the Bay Area is 8:08 a.m.

The Tsunami Warning Center in Alaska issued the warning in the aftermath of a massive 8.9 earthquake that hit Japan on Friday.

The warning is also in effect for the entire western coast of the United States and Canada from the Mexican border to Alaska.

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