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Post Japan Earthquake, Local Tsunami Information

[Updated: 7:26am] It is now anticipated that at approximately 08:15, plus or minus 15 min., a rising of the ocean level will occur


Originally published 11:43 p.m., March 10, 2011
Updated 7:26 a.m., March 11, 2011

Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Services have informed residents that tsunamis generated by the earthquake in Japan on Thursday, March 10, will have no impact on the California shoreline.

Warnings are current for Hawaii, where waves are expected to hit the Islands beginning 2:59am Hawaii Standard Time, Friday, March 11.

Most of the Southeast Asian coastline is expected to receive waves as well, as is most of the eastern Pacific.

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Tsunami Warning and Advisory Update (6:13am)

Expected to Remain in Effect Most of the Day; Slight increase in surge height expected, but still within the 1 to 3 foot level previously reported. It is anticipated that at approximately 08:15, plus or minus 15 min., a rising of the ocean level will occur. Of equal concern is the significant currents and dangerous ocean conditions.

Emergency Management staff have just participated in another conference call with State and Federal officials regarding the Tsunami Warning and Advisory for the California coast. It is anticipated that at approximately 08:15, plus or minus 15 min., a rising of the ocean level will occur. The increase level is anticipated to be approximately one to three feet at Santa Barbara. Of equal concern is the significant currents and dangerous ocean conditions.

ALL PERSONS ARE DIRECTED TO REMAIN OUT OF THE WATER.

North of Point Conception, OES has directed that all persons be directed away from any low lying areas; this includes County Parks. County Park officials have developed an OES approved plan for those park evacuations. Officials from the coastal cities have been briefed and the Santa Barbara CITY emergency staff are taking steps to ensure the protection of the harbor area.

California remains under a Tsunami WARNING for points north of Point Conception:

(Tsunami Warning - a tsunami warning is issued when a potential tsunami with significant widespread inundation is imminent or expected. Warnings alert the public that widespread, dangerous coastal flooding accompanied by powerful currents is possible and may continue for several hours after arrival of the initial wave. Warnings also alert emergency management officials to take action for the entire tsunami hazard zone. Appropriate actions to be taken by local officials may include the evacuation of low-lying coastal areas, and the repositioning of ships to deep waters when there is time to safely do so. Warnings may be updated, adjusted geographically, downgraded, or canceled.)

South of Point Conception, California remains under a Tsunami Advisory:

(Tsunami Advisory - a tsunami advisory is issued due to the threat of a potential tsunami which may produce strong currents or waves dangerous to those in or near the water. Coastal regions historically prone to damage due to strong currents induced by tsunamis are at the greatest risk. The threat may continue for several hours after the arrival of the initial wave, but significant widespread inundation is not expected for areas under an advisory.)

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Update from Office of Emergency Services (7:26am):

Tsunami Warning and Advisory Clarification

In response to several calls and messages concerned with the last update, here is some clarification:

Tsunami Warnings and Advisories are given when officials believe that coastlines and low-lying areas are at risk of inundation, or when waters off the coast are subject to dangerous currents and tides.

Tsunami surges historically come in swells or waves that can last for up to 10 or 12 hours after the initial surge occurs. Subsequent swells or waves can be larger than ones that came before them.

For that reason we are advising citizens to stay away from area beaches and the water until such time as an “all clear” has been given by officials at the California Emergency Management Agency. It is possible that the Warning and Advisory will remain in place for several hours past the previously announced time of 08:15am.

We request that all residents and visitors to be patient and remain vigilant until the “all clear” has been given.

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