Caution Urged as Tsunami Waves From Chile Quake Arrive on California Coast

Waves generated by a magnitude-8.2 quake off the coast of Chile fanned out across the Pacific toward California's coastal communities

View Comments ()
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Small tsunami waves measuring just a few inches arrived on the California coast Wednesday hours after a magnitude-8.2 earthquake off the coast of Chile.

    Tide gauges in Santa Monica showed tide levels above predicted readings, according to the National Weather Service. The elevated waves arrived just before 5 a.m. Wednesday in Santa Monica and about 20 minutes later to the north in San Luis Obispo County.

    Wave heights measured only a few inches, but the NWS reported "noticeable currents" in Ventura and Santa Barbara harbors.

    In Northern California waters, a small "2/3 foot" tsunami made landfall around sunrise, during low tide.

    Back in 2011, a tsunami related to the March 11, 2011 earthquake off Sendai, Japan caused heavy damage to the harbor in Crescent City, Calif., near the Oregon border.

    Wednesday's small surges generated by the sudden displacement in the sea floor will likely continue in and out of harbors and marinas. The NWS urged anyone going in the water Wednesday to be aware of ocean currents affected by the tsunami.

    The magnitude-8.2 quake off the Chilean coast was linked to at least six deaths. Energy generated by the quake triggered tsunami warnings for a large area of the Pacific coast of Central and South America.

    The quake was about 60 miles northwest of Iquique, Chile at a shallow 12.5 miles deep. About 40 aftershocks and 6-foot-high tsunami waves have been reported.

    A tsunami advisory was issue for Hawaii, about 6,500 miles away from the epicenter. The advisory was issued to alert beach visitors, surfers and swimmers of significant ocean currents.

    No tsunami warnings were issued for the United States West Coast.