Tsunami Advisory Issued for Hawaii, West Coast of U.S., Canada After Volcanic Eruption Near Tonga

Tsunami Advisory Issued for Hawaii, West Coast of U.S., Canada After Volcanic Eruption Near Tonga

A tsunami advisory was issued for Hawaii and portions of four other West Coast states on Saturday following a massive volcanic eruption near Tonga.

The National Tsunami Warning Center warned coastal regions of California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska of possible flooding and other damage from waves caused by the volcano throughout the day on Saturday. An advisory was also issued for the Canadian province of British Columbia.

According to the National Weather Service, people are encouraged to “stay out of the water and away from the shore” during an active tsunami advisory due to the strong waves and dangerous currents associated with the event.

So far, the NWS has reported wave heights of up to 4 ft. Some of the biggest waves have been spotted in Port San Luis, Calif. (4 ft.), Crescent City, Calif., (2.7 ft.) and King Cove, Alaska, (2.8 ft.).

The NWS’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported that waves had begun coming ashore in Hawaii around 4 a.m. local time. The first tsunami waves hit the West Coast a short time later.

Around 6 a.m., the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported wave amplitudes were decreasing, but that conditions along Hawaii’s coasts were still “potentially hazardous,” according to the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.

“Remember that a tsunami isn’t likely to look like a classic ‘breaking wave;’ it’s more of a massive surge of water that can rise quickly and with great power,” Hawaii EMA said on Twitter.

NWS Portland reported that Hawaii experienced more than three hours of advisory-level wave heights. Hawaii EMA announced at 8 a.m. local time that the state’s tsunami advisory had been canceled.

The NWS PTWC reported that the state experienced minimal damage. “We are relieved that there is no reported damage and only minor flooding through-out the islands,” the agency said Saturday morning.

Hawaii news station KITV4 obtained video of the initial floodwaters from one viewer who captured the small surge at Keauhou Harbor on the Big Island early Saturday morning.

In California, former MLB photographer Tim Cattera captured several clips of the tsunami surges and the resulting damage around the Santa Cruz Harbor. In two separate videos, water can be seen flowing onto the pavement near a dock, while boat damage can be seen in another.

The Santa Cruz Sentinal also shared an image of the harbor flooding, with multiple vehicles submerged in the rising waters. Santa Cruz police have since asked individuals to “avoid the beach and ocean until further notice.”

Out in Oregon, one Twitter user caught video of a tsunami wave pushing through an inlet in Neskowin as bystanders ran to escape the rushing waters.

Tsunami advisories have also been issued for portions of Japan bordering the Pacific Ocean, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.