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Preparations urged amid tsunami advisory for California

February 27, 2010 |  8:05 am

The tsunami advisory issued for the California coast predicts wave fluctuations of up to 2 feet, but officials said most people won't notice the difference.

According to a bulletin from the National Weather Service, the fluctuation will last about 30 minutes beginning after 12 p.m. in San Diego and La Jolla, then moving north. The warning covers San Pedro at about 12:15 p.m., Santa Monica at 12:25 p.m. and Santa Barbara at 12:31 p.m.

The massive earthquake that struck near the coast of central Chile has prompted the advisory. Forecasters said widespread inundation is not expected, and officials don't believe there is a major threat of damage.

The NWS urged residents to stay away from the ocean through the early afternoon as a precaution, though forecasters stressed they don't expect damage. "Wave fluctuation" of 2 feet or less is possible at Santa Monica Pier around 12:25 p.m.

"The Coast Guard strongly encourages waterfront users to take extra precautions in preparation for the possibility of a surge, to include securing vessel mooring arrangements and possible sources of pollution," according to a U.S. Geological Survey statement.

Another tsunami warning was issued last year after a large quake in the South Pacific prompted some lifeguards to clear local beaches. But there was no damage, and most people at the beach could not detect any changes.

The advisory was issued after an 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck about 200 miles southwest of Santiago, Chile, according to the U.S. Geological Survey

-- Ruben Vives and Shelby Grad