Chile quake leads to tsunami advisory for Hawaii, California

2015-09-17 12:37


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Honolulu - The powerful earthquake off Chile also sparked a tsunami advisory for part of coastal California and Hawaii, prompting officials in both states to urge caution around shorelines.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre first issued a more serious tsunami watch for Hawaii shortly after Wednesday's magnitude 8.3 earthquake. Officials later downgraded that to an advisory, saying that no major tsunami was expected in the state.

But they warned that sea-level changes and dangerous currents could pose a threat to those in or near the water.

The center estimated that the effects from the tsunami, which waves possibly reaching 3 feet above tide level, would arrive in Hawaii about 03:00 on Thursday.

The Honolulu Department of Emergency Management said people should stay out of the ocean from 03:00-07:00, and the US Coast Guard urged caution.

Strong currents

"The public is advised to use extreme caution and prepare for a tsunami wave forecasted to generate strong currents and surf throughout the main Hawaii Islands," the Coast Guard said.

A similar advisory was issued for southern and central California, affecting about 300 miles of coastline stretching from the southern end of Orange County to most of San Luis Obispo County on the central coast.

The possible changes associated with the advisory are expected to hit first in the south at about 04:45. PDT Thursday and move north in the minutes that follow.

Authorities in California called on people to refrain from waterfront activities.

"The tsunami waves may rise less than one foot in height, but there is a possibility of a surge of waves and currents that may impact the Los Angeles County beaches and harbour areas," the county Office of Emergency Management said.

A tsunami warning was last issued for Hawaii in 2012, after a powerful earthquake off the coast of Canada. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre lifted its tsunami advisory three hours after downgrading from a warning and less than six hours after the waves first hit the islands. The state was spared from severe surges.

Read more on:    us  |  chile  |  earthquakes

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