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California, Several US States Under Tsunami Warning After Tonga Volcano Eruption – NBC Bay Area

A tsunami warning is in effect for the Pacific coast of the United States, after an undersea volcano erupted near the Pacific nation of Tonga on Saturday, sending large tsunami waves crashing down the coast and forcing people to move to higher ground.

According to the National Weather Service, the warning is in effect for:

  • California includes the entire coast from the border with Mexico to the border with Oregon, including San Francisco Bay
  • The entire coast of Oregon.
  • The outer coast of Washington, from the border with Oregon to Sleep Point, the coast of the mouth of the Columbia River.
  • The coast of British Columbia, Canada.
  • The inner and outer coast of southeastern Alaska, from the British Columbia border to Cape Fairweather.
  • The coast of southern Alaska and the Alaskan Peninsula, from Cape Fairweather to Unimak Pass.

The warning was lifted in Hawaii at 07:52 a.m. HST.

Residents of American Samoa were alerted to a tsunami warning by local radio stations, as well as by church bells that rang throughout the territory. The siren warning system was out of order. Those who lived along the coast soon moved to higher ground.

In Hawaii, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported waves that hit the shoreline from a foot in Nawiliweli, Kauai, to 2.7 feet in Hanalei.

As night fell, there were no reports of damage and the Hawaii-based tsunami center canceled the alert.

What to do if you are in a warning area

Experts recommend the following:

  • Get out of the water and away from ports, marinas, breakwaters, bays and inlets.
  • Be alert and follow the instructions of local emergency officials as they may have more detailed information.
  • If you feel a strong earthquake or prolonged ground shaking, take immediate precautionary measures, such as moving within the ground and/or uphill, preferably on foot.
  • Don’t go to the beach to see a tsunami.
  • Don’t even go back to the beach, even the local emergency officials
    Indicates that it is safe to do so.
  • boat owners,
    • When weather and conditions permit, move your boat to
      The sea is at least 180 feet deep.
    • If you are at sea, avoid entering shallow waters and ports,
      Anchors, bays and entrances to avoid buoyancy and
      Submerged debris and strong currents.
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Chile requests evacuation of Easter Island beaches

The Chilean National Emergency Office (Onemi) issued an alert this Saturday and requested the evacuation of the coasts of Easter Island, the Juan Fernandez Archipelago, San Felix Island and Antarctica after a volcano erupted near the Pacific island of Tonga.

The Chilean Navy’s Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service (SHOA) announced via Twitter a “state of caution” which, according to the scale of the risks handled by this agency, indicates “the possibility of a slight tsunami” in those areas.

The closest island to Tonga is Rapa Nui, better known as Easter Island, located 2,300 miles from the Chilean mainland. Meanwhile, the Juan Fernandez Archipelago and San Felix Island are much closer to South America, about 372 miles apart.

The alert comes hours after an underwater volcano erupted near Tonga in the South Pacific, causing tsunami waves to hit the coasts of this island nation and also set off alarms in other countries in the region.

What happened in Tonga?

There were no immediate reports of casualties or the extent of damage, as communications with the small country remained cut off for hours after the explosion.

In Tonga, a video posted on social media showed big waves sweeping the beach in coastal areas, swirling around homes and buildings.

Satellite images showed a massive eruption, and a plume of ash, steam and gas billowed like mushrooms over the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Tonga meteorological services said a tsunami warning had been issued for the entire archipelago, and data from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center showed waves of 2.7 feet were detected.

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Authorities in the two neighboring island nations of Fiji and Samoa also issued warnings, telling people to avoid the coast due to strong currents and dangerous waves. The Japan Meteorological Agency said there may be some slight swelling in the waters along the Japanese coast, but it is not expected to cause any damage.

The islands business news site reported that a convoy of police and military forces evacuated King Tubu VI of Tonga from his palace near the coast. He was among the many residents who made their way to higher regions.

The eruption of the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano was the latest in a series of spectacular eruptions.

Earlier, Matangi Tonga news website reported that scientists noticed massive explosions, thunder and lightning near the volcano after its eruption began early Friday. Satellite imagery showed a 3-mile-wide plume rising into the air about 12 miles.

More than 1,400 miles away in New Zealand, authorities have warned of a storm surge from the volcano’s eruption.

The National Emergency Management Agency said parts of New Zealand could expect “extraordinarily strong currents and unexpected coastal surges following a major volcanic eruption”.

The volcano is located about 40 miles north of the capital, Nuku’alofa. In late 2014 and early 2015, a series of volcanic eruptions in the area created a new small island and disrupted international air travel to the Pacific archipelago for several days.

Tonga is home to about 105,000 people.

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