Officials are asking the public to steer clear of the ocean today after a large volcanic eruption in Pacific Ocean is sending tsunami activity into Northern California.
Late Friday night, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai Volcano erupted in the South Pacific ocean, at one point reaching 200 miles in diameter and sending shock waves at an estimated 640 mph. The eruption sent a large tsunami in every direction, including right to the shores of California. The waves began to hit the coast around 7 am and are expected to last for a few hours.
A Tsunami Advisory was issued by the National Weather Service for the coastline of America, with the waves hitting Fort Bragg at 7:35 am and Crescent City at 8 am. The waves have been seen throughout Northern California from the Bay Area to the North Coast. Santa Cruz has already been heavily impacted, with heavy flooding forcing evacuations near the Santa Cruz Harbor.
WATCH: Tsunami from Tonga volcano eruption starting to cause minor flooding in Santa Cruz, California pic.twitter.com/ELq8IKMEUV— BNO News (@BNONews) January 15, 2022
Although the initial waves already hit this morning, the pulsating waves are expected to continue throughout the day. Some of the largest waves could occur later in the day, so it’s imperative to avoid all coastal activities today.
“We realize the desire to watch the water during tsunami activity…but PLEASE STAY WELL BACK from low-lying coastal areas, and especially the surf zone, through midday,” said the National Weather Service on Twitter.
We will continue to report on the tsunami throughout the day. Here are some early photos/videos of the event:
Tsunami energy arriving at Del Monte Beach. Wave run up onto the beach is impressive. I'm safely distanced, but I saw other folks have to scramble when the waves unexpectedly reached them. Follow @NWSBayArea for #tsunami safety info. pic.twitter.com/JRl2XsTftI— Brooke Bingaman (@BrookeBingaman) January 15, 2022