The West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center has issued more details about the potential for small waves hitting the California coast due to the Japan earthquake.

Estimated arrival times:



SANTA MONICA: 8:32 a.m.

SAN PEDRO 8:32 a.m.


LA JOLLA 8:48 a.m.


Beaches in Southern California are being closed as officials expect small waves from the devastating 8.9 earthquake in Japan.

Officials said they are prohibiting fishing, surfing and boating until further notice because of the risk of a tsunami, which is expected to hit around 8 a.m.

Experts said they don’t expect coastal flooding and are not calling for mandatory evaucations of homes. But officials said the energy from the massive quake could cause changes in the ocean currents.

The unusual change in currents could last for several hours. The waves are expected to be large in northern beach areas such as Ventura County compared to southern beaches in Orange County.

[Updated at 6:21 a.m.: Point Conception could see “tsumani inundation measuring between 3.5 to 7 feet, according to the latest report from the National Weather Service. Santa Barbara and Long Beach could see wave heights between 2 and 3 feet.]

Some lifeguards have moved equipment and vehicles to higher ground as a precaution.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, an emergency warning system announcement for a tsunami warning was braodcast just after 1 a.m. Waves could begin arriving in Crescent City, Calif., at 7:23 a.m. and the Bay Area shortly after 8 a.m.

A lower-level tsunami advisory was issued for the Southern California coast south of Point Concepcion, which includes southern San Luis Obispo County and the counties of Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego.

According to the weather service, those living in tsunami warning areas near the beach or in low-lying regions “should move immediately inland to higher ground and away from all harbors and inlets, including those sheltered directly from the sea.”

“Those feeling the earth shake, seeing unusual wave action, or the water level rising or receding may have only a few minutes before the tsunami arrival and should move immediately. Homes and small buildings are not designed to withstand tsunami impacts.”

Officials don’t expect the waves to cause damage. But as a precaution, officials are likely to urge people to avoid beach areas.

Officials said people living in low-lying coastal areas should seek higher ground as a precaution and listen for special instructions from emergency agencies. Unusual wave action from the quake might last for several hours.

Officials said California could see small waves  Friday morning resulting from the 8.9 magnitude earthquake in Japan.

Cindi Preller of the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center told Fox 11 News that the tsunami could cause some unusually high tides but not major inundations.

It’s possible that officials will ask that beaches be cleared as a precaution. She added that the situation on the California coast might be similar to the aftermath of last year’s Chile quake. That quake caused some small waves but caused no major damage.

Officials said the tsunami-related waves would occur in Santa Monica at 8:39 a.m. and in Newport Beach at 8:45 a.m.

The latest alerts cover Japan, Russia, many Asian countries and Pacific islands, including Hawaii as well as many South and Central American countries such as Chile, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Colombia.

In Hawaii, officials expect a wave could hit at 2:59 a.m. Hawaii time (4:59 a.m. PST).

Following is the tsunami evacuation map for Venice.

The waves south of Point Conception, shown with the “A” marker on the map below are not expected to be significant. As you can see Venice and the South Bay are protected by an island chain. A wave sourced from almost directly West as shown by the white arrow would result in significant waves hitting our coastline. The waves from the current event are coming in from a Northwest angle.


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