Sudden tidal surges, strong currents still expected.
UPDATED SATURDAY, 9:30 A.M.: The tsunami advisory for the Southern California and Central Coasts has been canceled, according to the National Weather Service.
However, beaches and harbors will be continue to be subject to unusually strong currents and rapids and rapidly rising and lowering water levels. Also, the combination of a moderate northwest swell and abrupt tidal surges and rip currents will be especially strong today.
The Tsunami Warning Center (TWC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Department had issued a Tsunami Advisory on Friday for the Los Angeles County coastline, including Malibu, following an estimated 8.9 magnitude earthquake in Japan. As a result, Southern California coastal were under warning to expect dangerous currents and possible tides to increase from 1 to 3 feet.
TWC strongly advised all beaches and piers should be closed.
A recorded message at Los Angeles County Lifeguards headquarters on Friday warned beachgoers to stay out of the water and off the beach and rock jetties. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department issued a statement stating that evacuation of the Los Angeles County coastline was not expected.
Officials at the Zuma Beach lifeguard station said beaches in Malibu were not closed. They said they had been warning beachgoers to stay out of the water and off the beaches, but some people have ignored them.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department recorded three-foot surges every 15 minutes at speeds of 10-15 miles per hour, according to spokesman Sam Padilla.
Padilla said while the surges are not expected to be destructive on land, they would affect currents.
“It’s going to be creating some unstable currents that we’re unfamiliar with. That’s one of the reasons we’re advising people to stay out of the water,” Padilla said.
Padilla said the Fire Department began measuring the waves at 6:39 Friday morning, and would continue to monitor them until about 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Areas of Northern California had been hit hard. Eight-foot waves hit the harbor of Crescent City, near the Oregon border, destroying much of it. Four people were washed out to sea, with three hurt and one feared dead.
In Santa Cruz, waves jostled and damaged dozens of boats and broke docks. Fort Bragg, a small fishing port about 200 miles south of Crescent City, was hit by surges of water which ripped out docks and filled the water with debris.
Tsunami-related waves were scheduled to occur on Friday in San Pedro at 8:32 a.m., Santa Monica at 8:39 a.m. and Newport Beach at 8:45 a.m., according to the National Weather Service.
A Tsunami Advisory indicates that a tsunami capable of producing strong currents or waves dangerous to persons in or very near the water is expected. Significant, widespread inundation is not expected for areas under an advisory. Currents may be hazardous to swimmers, boats, and coastal structures and may continue for several hours after the initial wave arrival.
The Malibu Station Watch Commander, according to the city of Malibu, has said there are no plans to close Malibu beaches and the situation is continuing to be monitored.