Tsunami advisory issued for Oregon, Washington coasts

·2 min read

The National Weather Service has issued a tsunami advisory for the entire U.S. West Coast due to a large underwater volcanic eruption near Tonga Friday night.

A tsunami advisory is one level below a tsunami warning, and does not trigger evacuations. Instead, the public is advised to move off the beaches and out of harbors and marinas.

Waves of 1 to 3 feet were expected to begin hitting the coast at about 8:30 a.m. The first wave may not be the highest, so later waves could be higher. The activity is also expected to produce strong currents that may be hazardous to boats.

National Weather Service estimated waves reaching Newport at about 8:30 a.m. and Seaside at 8:45 a.m.

It reported a 1.18 foot wave observed at Port Orford, on the south coast, at 8:45 a.m.

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management issued a warning at 9:38 a.m. Saturday, saying high waves could continue for up to 24 hours.

“Stay away from port harbors and low-lying beaches because those strong currents can still cause a lot of damage, and you could be potentially risking your life,” OEM Geologic Hazards Coordinator Althea Rizzo said in a news release.

No impacts had been seen in Newport as of 9 a.m., said U.S. Coast Guard Seaman Xavier Monfort, at the Yaquina Bay station.

"As of now we do have our assets offshore," he said. "We're advising beachgoers to remain off the beaches and letting anybody know in the tsunami inundation zone to pay attention to those warnings."

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration operates two tide monitoring stations in Oregon, at South Beach and Garibaldi. As of 10 a.m. they had not recorded unusual levels.

An advisory has also been issued for Hawaii. Some minor flooding has been reported.

For more information on tsunami hazards, visit www.oregon.gov/oem/hazardsprep/Pages/Tsunami.

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Alia Beard Rau is the senior news editor for the Salem Statesman Journal. Reach her at arau@gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter @aliarau.

This article originally appeared on Salem Statesman Journal: Tsunami advisory issued for Oregon, Washington coasts

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