Tsunami warning issued for West Coast including Laguna Beach

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High surf and gusting winds battered Main Beach during a storm on Dec. 14. Photo by Daniel Langhorne

Laguna Beach braced for strong surf Saturday following a tsunami advisory for coastal Orange County connected to the Tonga volcanic eruption.

As of 2:40 p.m., the advisory from the National Tsunami Warning Center was in effect until further notice. Orange County is not seeing significant impacts and has had no reports of damage, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said in a prepared statement.

Orange County beaches, harbors, and piers remained closed and authorities recommended people avoid marine activities until the advisory is lifted.

The National Tsunami Warning Center expected waves to arrive in Orange County this morning but no evacuations have been ordered, according to a city press release. The Orange County Emergency Operations Center has been activated.

“Although no significant coastal flooding is expected, some areas could experience dangerous currents and tidal surges,” the city press release said. “Residents are encouraged to stay out of the water.”

Strong outgoing tidal currents are anticipated when the tsunami arrives. Tsunami events include a series of waves that can last for several hours. The first wave is usually not the strongest. The waves for this event will be increasing in height over time and the largest waves were anticipated to land Saturday afternoon.

Community members are asked to not call 911 unless they’re having a life-threatening emergency.

For the latest data on the Tonga tsunami, visit tsunami.gov.

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