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Tsunami warning: Pacific Northwest bracing for surges

March 11, 2011 |  8:02 am

PNW Tsunami warnings were being taken seriously in the Pacific Northwest, where surges of up to 6.5 feet were predicted. Low-lying coastal communities were being evacuated across Oregon and parts of Washington, with warning sirens sounded in the predawn hours in some communities.

The entire Oregon coast was under a tsunami warning, with the alert downgraded early Friday to a tsunami advisory in Washington.

Narrow coastal routes inland were jammed with cars, as emergency authorities in Oregon’s Tillamook County, Curry County and coastal Lane County warning residents with reverse 911 telephone calls. Police cars in Newport were sounding sirens through the streets.

In Washington, a wave of about 3.3 feet was predicted to hit Grays Harbor County, where low-lying areas in the communities of Moclips, Pacific Beach, Taholah and Iron Springs were  being evacuated. Additional evacuations were ordered in Long Beach, Ilwaco and Ocean Park.

PHOTOS: Scenes from the earthquake in Japan

VIDEO: Earthquake in Japan

-- Kim Murphy in Seattle

Map of the Pacific Northwest including Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. Credit: Google Maps