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Southland Coastal Cities Report Little Action, Small Waves From Tsunami

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PASADENA (CBS) — Seismologists with the U.S. Geological Survey at Caltech say tsunami-related activity will likely continue through Friday afternoon.

Officials say as high tide approaches around noon, more activity will occur on California beaches, including increased currents.

The first waves generated by the tsunami reached Southland beaches around 8:30 a.m., and while they generated some rough currents, the waves were not unusually large.

According to a local tsunami advisory, “strong currents or waves dangerous to persons in or very near the water is expected,” with a 1- to 3- foot surge probable.

The first waves from the tsunami began hitting San Pedro, Santa Monica and Newport Beach starting at 8:30 a.m., but beachgoers at Marina del Rey and other locations about a half-hour later reported fairly normal wave conditions.

“Observations are that the waves have been smaller than initially predicted,” said Dr. Ken Hudnut of the U.S. Geological Survey. “But not much smaller.”

According to the National Weather Service, at 9:22 a.m., wave height amplitudes were 2.9 feet in Malibu, 1.2 feet in Santa Monica, 2.8 feet in Redondo Beach, 2.1 feet in San Pedro Harbor, 2.3 feet in Laguna Beach and 1.3 feet in Huntington Beach.

Although the waves appeared benign, officials advised people to stay away from beaches around the Southland. At harbors and marinas, people were reminded to follow Coast Guard and harbor master recommendations. No evacuations were ordered.

Some coastal flooding was possible, the NWS warned. Southern California remains under a tsunami warning.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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