San Diego – According to the Weather Channel, California Tsunami advisories are in effect for Hawaii and Southern California after a powerful magnitude-8.3 earthquake struck the Pacific Ocean waters just off the coast of Chile Wednesday evening, generating a dangerous 15-foot tsunami along parts of the Chilean coast. Chilean authorities said at least 10 people died as a result of earthquake-related incidents.
The tsunami is fanning out across much of the Pacific Ocean, though the worst of its power is expected to be focused westward toward French Polynesia, including Tahiti.
In the U.S., initial tsunami waves arrived in the Hawaiian Islands, with a magnitude of 3 feet measured at Hilo and 2.2 feet in Kahului, Maui. A 2-3 inch rise was also measured at Honolulu.
The Pacific Typhoon Warning Center has issued a tsunami advisory for Hawaii. The bulletin said a major tsunami is not expected, but “sea level changes and strong currents” may endanger swimmers and boaters Thursday, with waves of 1 to 3 feet.
Local officials have urged people to stay off the beach and out of the water.
The U.S. government’s National Tsunami Warning Center also issued a tsunami advisory for Southern California, including coastal areas of the counties of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego. NTWC said tsunami waves of less than 1 foot above normal tide levels can be expected.
Such waves are not a danger to those on land, but they can create unusual and dangerous currents posing a danger to swimmers and boaters. People along the coast of southern California are advised to avoid the water until the tsunami threat subsides.
A tide gauge at Santa Monica, California, measured the initial tsunami wave early Thursday morning, with a fluctuation of one foot in less than 15 minutes, according to the National Weather Service in Oxnard.
Initial tsunami waves were also detected Thursday morning at La Jolla, California and Monterey Harbor.
The L.A. County Office of Emergency Management advised fishermen, beachgoers and visitors to stay off beaches, harbor areas and jetties until the advisory is lifted. No evacuations were ordered for L.A. County coastal areas.