Tsunami advisory issued for SF Bay Area coast after volcanic eruption


LATEST Jan. 15, 10 a.m. Videos posted to Twitter by Santa Cruz-based photographer Tim Cattera show a surge of water flooding the Santa Cruz Harbor, as well as some portions of land surrounding the marina.

The harbor has issued a statement saying access to the docks has been restricted to the public for safety purposes.

Jan 15, 7:18 a.m. A tsunami advisory is in effect Saturday morning for the West Coast, including coastal California and parts of the San Francisco Bay Area, after a large underwater volcanic eruption near the Tonga Islands on Friday night.

The National Weather Service said peak waves of 1 to 2 feet are possible from the event.

The waves caused by the volcano are expected to arrive in California around 7:30 a.m., with peak waves occurring possibly one to two hours later.

“Main impacts expect to be strong rip currents, coastal flooding, and inundation of low lying areas is possible,” the weather service’s Bay Area office said. In a tweet, the office said to “Avoid venturing onto the immediate coastline today.”

The Berkeley Fire Department issued an evacuation order for the city’s Marina district. Meanwhile, wave run-up has been observed at Del Monte Beach.

A tsunami advisory was also in effect for the entire U.S. Pacific seaboard and Hawaii on Saturday morning.

“A tsunami capable of producing strong currents that may be hazardous to swimmers, boats, and coastal structures is expected,” the U.S. National Weather Service wrote in a flash bulletin.

The undersea volcano erupted late Friday night near the remote Pacific nation of Tonga, sending massive tsunami waves crashing across the shores of the island. People in Tonga’s capital of Nuku’alofa rushed to higher ground.

Video posted to social media showed large waves washing ashore in coastal areas, swirling around homes and buildings. 

The Bay City News contributed to this report.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story stated the volcanic eruption triggered an earthquake, based on early reporting that has since been clarified. There was no earthquake, just the seismic event of the eruption alone. The story has been updated.


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