VIDEO: Tsunami Central Coast Bound
March 11, 2011
Updated 3:00pm: A small exodus of boats moored in Monterey Bay harbor headed for the safety of open water early this morning, before the expected arrival time of a tsunami resulting from the 8.9-magnitude “great” earthquake in Japan that sent a massive wall of water penetrating miles into some parts of that country’s northeast.
The tsunami warning for the west coast of the U.S. was issued after midnight, with the first wave of waves expected to arrive along the Central Coast about 7:44am. Authorities closed roads that hugged the shoreline,
Both the Alaska and West Coast Tsunami Warning Centers released estimates on when the imminent waves would make landfall—for the greater Bay Area between 7:30am and 8:15am—prompting hundreds of people to make their way to bluffs overlooking the Pacific for a chance to catch a glimpse.
Although the estimates of wave size in the Bay Area are paltry in comparison to the inundating flood seen in Japan, authorities say the two-foot approximation for Monterey Bay is misleading. Unlike normal waves, a tsunami is a huge surge of water rather than a breaker, and many times there are a series of them as opposed to a single event.
Authorities are urging people to take the threat seriously as the waves are expected to be present sporadically throughout the early part of today.