Tsunami advisory lifted for US west coast after volcanic eruption in Pacific


The tsunami advisory was lifted for parts of the US west coast and Alaska on Sunday after a volcano erupted in the Pacific on Saturday.

The initial tsunami advisory – meaning “a dangerous wave is on its way— was issued for the West Coast and Alaska on Saturday morning.

Despite officials’ warnings to stay away from Northern California beaches, rescue teams have brought five people to safety after venturing too close to choppy ocean waters from Saturday’s tsunami wave, reported CBS San Francisco.

A US State Department spokesperson said on Saturday that US citizens in Tonga and Fiji had been alerted to a tsunami warning. According to an alert from the US Embassy, ​​the Tonga Meteorological Service has issued advisories of heavy rain, flash flooding and high winds for land and coastal waters and Fijian authorities have warned residents to stay away from coastal areas.

The State Department spokesman said he was not aware of any US citizens affected so far.

On Saturday afternoon, the National Weather Service Anchorage canceled tsunami advisory for “all Gulf coastal areas”. The service added that the advisory was still in effect “for the Alaska Peninsula and the Aleutians until further notice.”

An advisory has also been issued for Hawaii, after an underwater volcano erupted Saturday near the Pacific nation of Tonga. It was canceled later after wave heights in the state began to decline.

“Small changes in sea level, strong or unusual currents may persist for several additional hours in some coastal areas and appropriate coastal areas and appropriate caution should be exercised by boaters and swimmers,” the Pacific Tsunami said. Warning Center. tweeted.

Tonga volcano eruption
This satellite image taken by Himawari-8, a Japanese weather satellite, shows an underwater volcanic eruption in the peaceful nation of Tonga on January 15, 2022.

Japan Meteorological Agency via AP

The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services said the height of the tsunami was expected to be 1 to 2 feet, based on what was seen in Hawaii. Flooding was then reported near the Port of Santa Cruz and some residents were evacuated. CBS SF Bay Area reported officials said more than 100 people evacuated the Berkeley Marina, where a evacuation order was in effect for boats in the marina, docks and shoreline.

San Francisco Department of Emergency Management noted strong currents were expected for hours, but no residential flooding was expected.

In Alaska, the largest mid-morning tsunami was seen at King Cove – 3.3 feet, according to the National Weather Service.

Washington was seeing tsunami waves below a foot, but forecasters warned later waves could be larger. Forecasters in Portland said Oregon had seen similar sized waves, but still warned residents to stay away from beaches and be prepared for the possibility of higher waves.

In Tonga, any damage was unclear as all internet connectivity with Tonga was lost on Saturday evening, according to Doug Madory, director of internet analytics for network intelligence firm Kentik, The Associated Press reported. . A tsunami warning was issued for the entire archipelago, according to the Tonga Meteorological Service, and 2.7 foot waves were detected, according to data from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, according to the AP.

People living on board along the US coast have been asked to take shelter.

A tsunami advisory is one level below a warning – and one level above a watch. This means dangerous 1-3 foot waves and strong currents are expected.

“Remember that a tsunami probably won’t look like a classic ‘breaking wave’; rather, it’s a massive surge of water that can rise quickly and with great power,” noted Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.

Signs of a tsunami include strong currents, a receding or rapidly receding shoreline, and unusual waves and sounds. “The tsunami can appear as water moving rapidly out to sea, a gentle rising tide like a flood without a breaking wave, like a series of breaking waves, or a wall of foamy water,” the National Center said. tsunami warning.

Dave Snider, tsunami warning coordinator for the Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska, said it was not “everyday experience” for a warning to be issued for this length of coastline. “I don’t know when was the last time,” he said.

“I hope this elevates the significance and severity for our citizens.”

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