San Diego News: Tsunami in Japan Affects West Coast of California

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News is breaking and updates are available online: An earthquake registering at 8.9 magnitude hit the shores of Tokyo, Japan this morning sending a 23-foot tsunami across Japan’s coastal cities. The massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami threatened the Pacific region including Hawaii, South America, Canada, Alaska and the entire U.S. West coast. The effects of the massive quake and tidal surge may be felt throughout the day across most of the West Coast.

Crescent City, California’s boat dock, near the Oregon border, is said to have estimated millions of dollars damage as 35 vessels that were not secured are crashing into each other and sinking and the after-shock tsunami waves are destroying the boat dock and harbor.  No injuries or damage to homes have been reported.

The earthquake was the worst in Japan’s history and the 6th largest in the world’s recorded history. It is too early to take official counts, but a current estimate suggests hundreds are dead and as many as 88,000 are missing.  The fierce waves caused by this tsunami have caused two fires, swept away buildings, ships, cars and homes and flooded the eastern coast of Japan.

Japan is located in what is known to be the “Ring of Fire,” a region that stretches around the Pacific where around 90% of the world’s earthquakes occur.

San Diego authorities have issued warnings to stay out of the water for the next 10-12 hours due to abnormal swells, waves filled with debris and unstable currents. In Carlsbad this morning a 2.3 foot increase in waves was recorded with strong currents. No damage has been reported.

According to the Ramona Patch, The San Diego Office of Emergency Services advise “tsunami waves are not surfable. They are not v-shaped or curling waves” and The County of San Diego says:

“The threat is expected to begin between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. and will continue for 10 to 12 hours after the initial wave arrival.

  • People are encouraged to stay out of the water and away from the immediate coastline until after this event.
  • People are discouraged from going to the beach or harbors to view the event.
  • The public can 211 for information. The City of San Diego also has a hotline: 619-570-1070.”

There is a website available for those who would like to track their loved ones, it’s called the Person Finder: 2011 Japan Earthquake. Currently, this website is tracking 7,200 records and has a place for you to request information about someone or offer information about someone.

Another website to keep track of is NOAA’S National Weather Service Pacific Tsunami Warning Center for minute by minute updates.

In the United States, Oregon was the first to feel the effects in the aftermath of the quake. Lifeguards at Carlsbad State Beach reported an increase in wave height of about 2 feet at about 9 a.m. Frida

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