Tsunami advisory closes beaches in Los Angeles and Orange County after volcano erupts in Pacific

A tsunami advisory issued for the West Coast on Saturday morning closed beaches in Los Angeles County and Orange County.

An undersea volcano erupted dramatically near the peaceful nation of Tonga on Saturday, sending large tsunami waves crashing onto the shore and people rushing for higher ground. A tsunami advisory was in effect for Hawaii, Alaska and the Pacific coast of the United States, with reports of waves pushing boats into docks in Hawaii.

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A notice means a dangerous wave is on its way. Strong and unusual currents are expected along the coast and in bays, marinas and ports. People are told to move up and away from the shore.

According to the National Weather Service, initial waves in SoCal are forecast at 7:45 a.m., with maximum tsunami wave heights of 1 to 2 feet possible.

The main impact is expected to be strong rip currents, coastal flooding and flooding of low lying areas is possible.

If you are in a tsunami warning area, officials tell you:

  • Get out of the water, off the beach and away from ports, marinas, breakwaters, bays and coves.
  • Do not go to the shore to observe the tsunami.
  • Do not return to the coast until local emergency officials advise it is safe.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or extent of damage as all internet connectivity with Tonga was lost around 6:40 p.m. local time, about 10 minutes after the problems began, Doug Madory said, Director of Internet Analytics for the Network Intelligence Company. Kentik.

Tonga gets its internet via an undersea cable from Suva, Fiji, which has presumably been damaged. The company that operates this connection, Southern Cross Cable Network, could not immediately be reached for comment.

In Hawaii, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported waves lapping on shore from 1.6 feet at Nawiliwili, Kauai, to 2.7 feet at Hanalei. “We are relieved that no damage was reported and only minor flooding across the islands,” the center said, describing the situation in Hawaii.

In Tonga, home to around 105,000 people, video posted to social media showed large waves crashing into coastal areas, swirling around houses and buildings, including a church. Satellite images showed a huge eruption, a plume of ash, steam and gas rising like a mushroom above the blue waters of the Pacific.

The New Zealand military said it was monitoring the situation and remained on standby, ready to help if asked.

The Tonga Meteorological Services said a tsunami warning had been declared for the entire archipelago and data from the Pacific Tsunami Center showed waves of 2.7ft had been detected.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Tune in to FOX 11 Los Angeles for the latest news from Southern California.

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