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Tsunami advisory issued for Southern California; people urged to avoid ocean

February 27, 2010 |  5:24 am

The massive earthquake that struck near the coast of central Chile has prompted the National Weather Service to issue a tsunami advisory for Southern and Central California. People are urged to avoid local beaches.

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.

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

Here is the NWS advisory:

A MINOR TSUNAMI MAY BE RECORDED IN SOME AREAS OF THE COAST WHICH COULD PRODUCE DANGEROUS CURRENTS AND SURGES IN HARBORS AND BAYS.

PEOPLE ARE ADVISED TO STAY AWAY FROM THE BEACHES AND MARINAS. WAVE HEIGHTS AND CURRENTS ARE AMPLIFIED BY IRREGULAR SHORELINES AND ARE DIFFICULT TO PREDICT.

MINOR WAVE FLUCTUATIONS TWO FEET OR LESS ARE EXPECTED TO BEGIN WITHIN 30 MINUTES OF THE ESTIMATED ARRIVAL TIMES LISTED BELOW: PORT SAN LUIS HARBOR...AT 1235 PM PST. SANTA BARBARA HARBOR...AT 1231 PM PST. SANTA MONICA HARBOR....AT 1225 PM PST. SAN PEDRO HARBOR.......AT 1215 PM PST.

THESE MINOR WAVE FLUCTUATIONS COULD CONTINUE FOR SEVERAL HOURS. THE INITIAL WAVE MAY NOT BE THE LARGEST. MARINERS IN WATER DEEPER THAN 600 FEET SHOULD NOT BE AFFECTED BY THE TSUNAMI.

--Ruben Vives and Shelby Grad

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