West Coast Hit By Tsunami Waves, Some California Beaches Closed
Some West Coast residents were forced to evacuate as the region was hit by tsunami waves which emanated from the massive 8.9 earthquake that struck Japan on Friday.
The National Weather Service warned that anyone living in tsunami-warning areas by the beach "should move immediately inland to higher ground and away from all harbors and inlets, including those sheltered directly from the sea."
KABC reported: "The latest information from the West Coast-Alaska Tsunami Warning Center says the tsunami warning continues in effect for the coastal areas of California and Oregon from Point Conception, California to the Oregon-Washington border. Meanwhile, the tsunami advisory continues in effect for the coastal areas of California from the California-Mexico border to Point Conception, California"
The National Weather Service predicted tsunami waves in Southern California could range from less than 2-feet to up to 7-feet.
These are not going to be waves we’re used to seeing in Hollywood movies,” Bill Patzert, and oceanographer at Propulsion Laboratory said. “Most waves tend to last for 20-30 seconds. The waves we’re going to see will last 20-30 minutes.”
Patzert said that tsunami waves are typically 100 feet wide and move at 500 mph.
Some Southern California beaches have been closed because of the waves, including in Malibu and Newport Beach.
ABC 7 reported: "According to Sgt. Eric Peterson of the Newport Beach Police Department, harbors and piers in Orange County will also be closed, and officials may issue a phone alert to coastal Orange County residents as a precaution"
Los Angeles County residents have also been warned to stay away from currents.
In San Francisco, coastal access to area beaches has been closed and the coastal highway has bee shut down.
In Oregon, coastal residents evacuated their homes and headed inland ahead of the waves, which were expected to be up to 6 feet high.
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber issued a statement urging anyone "along the coast to heed tsunami alarms and follow instructions from public safety officials about heading to higher ground."
"Our thoughts are with the people of Japan," he added.