San Francisco Experiences Tiny Tsunami

This past Friday, San Francisco experienced its own tiny ‘tsunami’ that swelled into the bay as a result of the 8.9 earthquake in Japan. The wave caused very little damage (a few boats needed repairs), and raised the water levels to twice their average depth. The city was expecting the wave, as they had received warning from the National Weather Service. As they has predicted, the one-foot surge was visible in the Bay on Friday morning. A second wave appeared a couple of hours later as well.

The widening swell was captured on film by numerous spectators in Emeryville. One said: “We saw this wave come ashore in Emeryville today. Remember it had to go through the Golden Gate first so they must have had a larger wave on the unprotected beach.” Many agreed that “it is really interesting to see this in our Bay- a miniature tsunami wave, acting exactly like the big ones, only in a small scale because it has lost most of its power. I only wish I had driven down there to see it myself.”

The Great Highway was closed to traffic on Friday morning, and was opened at around 4:30 pm. Officials warned locals to stay out of the water until the following day, while the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center explained on the news that “currents may be hazardous to swimmers, boats and coastal structures and may continue for several hours after the initial wave arrival.” Today, locals are advised to remain cautious of the coastal waters, and, if possible, to avoid swimming today as well.

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