Tsunami warning issued for west coast after underwater volcano eruption

An image taken by a Japanese weather satellite shows an underwater volcanic eruption in the peaceful nation of Tonga on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022. (Japan Meteorological Agency via AP)

(NEXSTAR) – A tsunami advisory has been issued for parts of Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington after an undersea volcano erupted in the Tonga Islands.

The National Tsunami Warning Center, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), added that “some impacts are expected” along the west coast of the United States.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, also operated by NOAA, had issued its own advisory for the state of Hawaii, warning that the waves could pose a hazard to swimmers, boaters or anyone near shore.

Specifically, the National Tsunami Warning Center issued the advisory for the following areas:

  • The coast from the California/Mexico border to the Oregon/California border, including San Francisco Bay
  • The Oregon coast from the California/Oregon border to the Washington/Oregon border, including the Columbia River estuary coast
  • The outer Washington coast from the Oregon/Washington border to Slip Point, the Columbia River estuary coast and the Juan de Fuca Strait coast
  • In British Columbia, from North Coast and Haida Gwaii, Central Coast and Northeast Vancouver Island, Outer West Coast of Vancouver Island, Juan de Fuca Strait Coast
  • In Southeast Alaska, including the inner and outer coast from the BC-Alaska border to Cape Fairweather
  • In southern Alaska and the Alaska Peninsula, including the Pacific coasts from Cape Fairweather to Unimak Pass
  • The Aleutian Islands, Unimak Pass to Attu, including the Pribilof Islands

More detailed maps are available on the NOAA Tsunami Warning System website.

Tsunami activity was expected to begin as early as 6 a.m. in parts of Alaska, 7:35 a.m. in parts of California, 7:55 a.m. in parts of Oregon, 8:30 a.m. in parts of Colombia -British and 8:35 a.m. in parts of Washington.

The tsunami, caused by an underwater volcano located about 40 miles from Tonga’s capital and seen from space, sent waves crashing to the shores of Tonga, the Associated Press reported on Saturday morning. No injuries were reported immediately.

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