Explainer: What's a Tsunami Advisory?

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A tsunami advisory has been issued Saturday for the coastal Bay Area and Santa Cruz, the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office confirmed.

The advisory was issued for the entire West Coast following a volcanic eruption in the Tonga Islands.

But what exactly does a tsunami advisory mean?

The National Weather Service Bay Area shared a graphic explaining the four types of tsunami alerts.

In green, the information statement is the alert which requires little to no action.

In yellow, the watch alert encourages to prepare to take action by monitoring local media and be mindful of possible changes.

In orange, the advisory alert which is the current alert across the West Coast including the Bay Area and Santa Cruz in California, urges people to stay out of the water and away from the shore. Waves can reach up to 3 feet and strong currents are expected.

Lastly, the most dangerous alert level is the warning, which asks people to "get to high ground or inland IMMEDIATELY." When in this level, flooding and dangerous currents are expected and waves can reach 3 feet or more.

Watch NBC Bay Area meteorologist Vianey Arana explain the ongoing advisory in the video player above.

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