Tsunami Advisory Canceled, OC Beaches Reopen

The California tsunami advisory was issued Wednesday after a magnitude-8.3 earthquake off Chile

A tsunami advisory for the California coast was canceled Thursday, hours after a magnitude-8.3 earthquake off the coast of Chile.

The advisory, issued Wednesday night from San Onofre State Beach in San Diego County to areas north of San Luis Obispo, led authorities to close Orange County beaches overnight. The beaches reopened early Thursday, but emergency officials warned visitors they could see stronger than normal currents.

"This does not mean a big, large wall of water is headed our way," said NBC4 forecaster Crystal Egger. "What we're expecting is a series of long-period waves coming through, what we call tidal surge."

Increased wave heights were reported early Thursday in Santa Monica Bay, one of several locations being monitored by lifeguards and other emergency personnel. The bump in wave heights off Santa Monica measured less than a foot.

Waves in Los Angeles County were expected to reach less than 12 inches. Waves in San Diego County were forecast to be from 4 to 8 inches, which was not enough to place the county under the tsunami advisory.

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In Orange County, all beaches, marinas, harbors and piers in Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Dana Point and San Clemente reopened at 6 a.m.


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"Although no significant coastal flooding occurred, there is a high likelihood of strong currents and waves dangerous to persons in or near the water," the Orange County Sheriff's Department said in a statement. "These strong currents may be hazardous to swimmers, boaters and coastal structures and may continue for several hours."

"The greatest threat will be the very strong underwater currents that will be hazardous to swimmers and boaters," the NOAA said in a weather statement. "The strong currents will continue for several hours after the initial wave arrival. Strong currents in harbors and bays may damage docks and other coastal structures."

According to the NOAA, "tsunami advisories mean that a tsunami capable of producing strong currents or waves dangerous to persons in or very near the water is expected or is already occurring. Areas in the advisory should not expect widespread inundation. Tsunamis are a series of waves dangerous many hours after initial arrival time. The first wave may not be the largest."

The powerful temblor hit off Chile's northern coast Wednesday night, causing buildings to sway in the capital of Santiago and prompting authorities to issue a tsunami advisory for the Andean nation's coast and Hawaii.

Officials reported one death in a town north of the capital and heavy waves and some flooding in a handful of coastal cities.

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