Damaging Tsunami Hits NorCal Coast After Big Japan Quake

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5 / KCBS) — A tsunami triggered by a massive magnitude 8.9 earthquake in Japan rushed onto Northern California’s coast Friday, causing powerful surges that destroyed boat docks in Santa Cruz and Crescent City, sent beach-area residents in Pacifica and Half Moon Bay evacuating to higher ground and swept at least one man out to sea.

>>Photo Gallery: Bay Area Tsunami Damage

>>Photo Gallery: Japan Earthquake And Tsunami

California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties to the south of San Francisco and Del Norte and Humboldt counties to the north, saying the ocean surge from tsunami waves had put infrastructure and public safety in “extreme perile.”

While much of the Bay Area was not directly affected, precautions were taken across the region after a Tsunami Warning was issued due to wave swells that began arriving just before 8 a.m. The warning was downgraded to an advisory by 4 p.m.

The surges had subsided along the West Coast by evening, according to the Tsunami Warning Center.

Missing NorCal Man

The U.S. Coast Guard dispatched helicopters in search of a missing 25-year-old man, who officials said had been taking photos of the tsunami with friends at the mouth of the Klamath River near Crescent City when a wave pulled him out around 10 a.m. Friends who tried to rescue him made it back to shore, but the man remained missing.

The Coast Guard said the search was suspended after seven hours and they declared the man dead Friday evening when crews in boats and in helicopters covered more than 250 square miles looking for him.

The man’s identity was withheld as authorities tried to contact his family, said Joey Young, a spokesman for the emergency operations center of Del Norte County.

“We had one person reported missing who has been confirmed dead,” Young said. “The Coast Guard has been doing a search for the body, but the oceanic conditions are making it very difficult.”

Added Coast Guard Lt. Todd Vorenkamp, “The waters here are very cold and very rough seas, so if you’re not in a survival suit or a dry suit, then your chances of survival are very slim.”

“I don’t know if it was a tsunami that got this guy or just standard northern California waves,” Vorenkamp continued. “But there was tsunami activity in the area at that time.”

He explained, “The shoreline here is a dangerous, treacherous place on a good day, and with a tsunami warning, it’s exponentially worse.”

“The Northern California coast is a very unforgiving maritime environment on a good day,” he indicated. “It happens more times than you think when a person gets washed away by a wave.”

Crescent City Damage

Local damage seemed to be restricted mainly to the Crescent City and Santa Cruz harbors, where dozens of vessels crashed into one another and were sinking.

Crescent City Councilwoman Kelly Schellong said the docks and harbor there were “pretty much completely destroyed” after being hammered by at least three tsunami waves, including one reaching a record 8.1 feet — even higher than the 7-foot surges that hit Hawaii.

Some fishermen in Crescent City had fired up their crab boats and left the harbor to ride out the expected swell.

“Many boats left the harbor” before Friday morning’s evacuation of the downtown area, said Young. “Some did not.”

Water rushing into the harbor had destroyed or damaged about 35 boats and ripped chunks off the wooden docks, as marina workers and fishermen scrambled to secure property in between surges. When the water returned, someone would yell “Here comes another one!” to clear the area.

“The damage from this is probably going to go into the millions, easily,” said Bill Steven, a commander with the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office.

Ted Scott, a retired mill worker who lived in Crescent City when a 1964 tsunami killed 11 in his town, watched the water pour into the harbor.

“This is just devastating. I never thought I’d see this again,” Scott said. “I watched the docks bust apart. It buckled like a graham cracker.”

Vincent Mealue, who also survived the 1964 disaster, didn’t take any chances and picked up his grandson on the edge of the evacuation area.

“Anybody who has lived here a long time takes this pretty seriously,” Mealue said. “There have been a lot of scares, but it only takes one time to be the real deal.”

The waves, however, did not make it over a 20-foot break wall protecting the rest of the city, and no serious injuries or building damage was immediately reported.

Three Red Cross shelters were set up to help the displaced. Young could not estimate how many of the city’s 5,000 residents were evacuated.

That evacuation was lifted by nightfall and authorities reopened a 55-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 101 in the area that was closed for much of the day.

The Crescent City area is particularly vulnerable to tsunamis because it lies directly west of the Mendocino Escarpment, a raised ridge on the ocean floor that sits between two ocean plates and directs wave energy at the nearby coastal city.

“Crescent City is a special case. They always get it worse, it doesn’t matter where the tsunami comes from,” said Paul Huang, a seismologist with the federal Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska, which monitors the West Coast.

In 2006, large tsunami waves triggered by a massive earthquake off Japan’s coast caused nearly $1 million of damage to Crescent City’s harbor, and some residents scrambled to safety last year when Chile’s earthquake sparked warnings but ultimately no huge swells.

Santa Cruz Damage

Friday’s tsunami also caused significant boat damage in Santa Cruz, where dozens of loose fishing boats crashed into one another and chunks of wooden docks also broke off. The water rushed out as quickly as it poured in, leaving the boats tipped over in mud. A sailboat also crashed into the harbor bridge.

“We are just getting our whole harbor wrecked,” said longtime maintenance worker Eileen Sundet. “This is just so sad.”

“I’m worried about the damage, not just to the boats but to the whole harbor infrastructure,” added Dave Emberson, an engineer and local harbor official in Santa Cruz.

Lisa Ekers, director of the Santa Cruz Port District, said preliminary estimates there put damage costs around $15 million. Of the 800 fishing and pleasure boats normally docked in the harbor, 30 to 40 have been destroyed or sunk, she said.

Another 100 private vessels suffered what county spokesman Enrique Sahagun termed “significant damage.”

About 200 residents stood awestruck every time surges of water caused docks to rattle and boats to come loose and crash into each other, their voices competing with the whirring of three helicopters hovering over the harbor.

“As we stood and watched, we saw the water rise up and the boats
and docks shifting,” said Robin Gallo, a retired construction worker who rode over to the harbor on his bicycle.

An evacuation order went into effect about 6 a.m. for beachfront homes near the harbor — but that didn’t stop surfers, who raced to the beach to catch the waves undeterred.

“The tides are right, the swell is good, the weather is good, the tsunami is there. We’re going out,” said William Hill, an off-duty police officer.

Fortunately, no injuries were reported in Santa Cruz. The evacuation order was lifted by 5 p.m.

San Mateo County Evacuations

In San Mateo County, authorities also evacuated all beaches and low-lying coastal areas west of Highway 1 in response to the tsunami.

Residents in the Linda Mar area of Pacifica were evacuated to the east of Adobe Drive. Those in El Granada were evacuated to the east of Coronado Street.

Evacuation shelters were established at Terra Nova High School, Oceana High School, Farallone View Elementary School and Pescadero High School.

Hundreds of cars also parked on the side of state Highway 92 during the morning rush hour as people evacuated from Half Moon Bay.

Water levels rose slightly, about 8 inches, in Half Moon Bay’s Pillar Point Harbor, with surges of water as high as 2 or 3 feet — but no damage had been reported there.

There were no reported injuries or loss of life related to the ocean surge, county officials said.

School districts in Half Moon Bay, Pacifica and the Pescadero area were all closed for the day.

San Francisco Impact

In San Francisco, police closed the Great Highway from Point Lobos at 48th Avenue to Lake Merced until late afternoon, but the city didn’t order any evacuations.

“I feel confident we will not be hurt by this,” San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee proclaimed at a morning City Hall news conference.

The bluffs above San Francisco’s Ocean Beach were dotted with roughly 30 spectators who couldn’t resist seeing the effects of the tsunami for themselves.

The sun was shining, the air was warm, and the waves seemed no more dramatic than most days, several Sunset District residents said.

“This looks normal,” said construction salesman Greg Miller, who lives a few blocks from the beach. “It hit Hawaii too and didn’t seem to do anything to Hawaii.”

Nonetheless, officials advised beachgoers to stay out of the water until around 2 p.m. Saturday.

Meantime, numerous flights between Japan and San Francisco International Airport were canceled or rerouted, officials said.

Bay Area Rapid Transit officials considered canceling train service between West Oakland and Daly City as a precaution, beacuse stations in that area are underground or below sea level. But worries about the possibility of water getting inside the stations and tunnels didn’t materialize.

Experts said online tools such as Earthtools.org can help determine your home’s risk of being hit by a tsunami.

(© 2011 CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. John Milinovich says:

    How realistic is the threat to the Bay Area?

    1. Yader says:

      It depends on what happens in Hawaii I would think.

      1. meo says:

        Any chance SF will have to evacuate?

      2. Eve A says:

        Hawaii had a 2.7 quake at 1:45 am pacific time…….

      3. Norman Seward says:

        there are about 1000 2.7 quakes in the world everyday

    2. GAZZAR says:

      All these things happening in the world lately is a huge sign of the beginning of the end. That’s just my opinion.

      1. Joey Balboni says:

        I hope all these things happening are a “huge sign” of you meeting your end first. That’s just my opinion

      2. That’s hella messed up Joey Balboni. And not just because I happen to agree.

  2. marsha says:

    It is stated that US West Coast is on a Tsunami “watch” and not a tsunami warning, so that we are not in imminent danger. Could cause big surf.

    1. Tonya Davis says:

      It’s a WARNING not a watch. Go to the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center website: they estimate waves to hit SF at 8:08 am. The site does say arrival time does not mean waves are imminent, but I am packed and ready to leave Oakland at any time. They also have a map showing yellow watch zones and red warning zones – CA coast is outlined in RED. http://wcatwc.arh.noaa.gov/2011/03/11/lhvpd9/06/webetalhvpd9-06.txt

    2. ELO says:

      THIS IS A *****WARNING**** THIS IS A REAL EVENT WITH PREDICTIONS FROM 1 TO 7 FEET. NO ONE ACTUALLY KNOWS BUT STOP REPORTING THAT IT IS A WATCH…IT IS NOT! THIS IS AN ACTIVE WARNING IN EFFECT!

      1. Linda Simi says:

        Yes, You have the best post so far. I am not worried inland in the East Bay. But people should stop saying Watch, which it is not. I have never this am heard the word “watch”.

      2. Linda Simi says:

        The rise of tide is currently 8 inches on the calif coast. This may be the beginning or it may actually be the top wave. This could be the begining, middle or end of the event. They will probably remove the “warning” in 2 hrs.

      3. ferris says:

        all the americans are too exagerate… is just a watch in meny beaches are waves of 3 ft regularly

    3. Linda Simi says:

      This is what we hope for just a big surf, I am listening now and it is a warning not a watch. Don’t panic, but be smart. It is low tide and this will help. But in this situation NO ONE knows what will happen until it does. So, for those who do nothing in an area that might be hit, you should worry more than those inland.

  3. dillon williams says:

    will we find out soon what to expect?

  4. dillon williams says:

    it is a WARNING!

  5. anil dhupelia says:

    Can you estimate if the bay area and cities like Albany , Richmond,
    Berkeley , Emeryville,, Oakland could be subject to tsunami damage and how far away should people be to avoid injury.Please broadcast on radio and map on tv and online.Are volunteers needed.
    Thank you.

  6. andres says:

    IS it a watch or a warning ??????

    1. chris says:

      its now a warning

  7. Tom 'Tsunami Tom' T says:

    it’s very very real. Trust me.

  8. Lydia says:

    What about San Jose? Does anyone think there could be damage there?

    1. Ian Scott Armstrong says:

      It’s like threading a blast through the eye of a needle. The narrow choke-point of the GGB will mitigate it a bit but if something hits us you should be off the flats by 7:30am.

      1. Amanda yarnell says:

        Hey Ian. Look after yourself and let me know how things turnout. I’m crossing my fingers. Be safe. Xxx Amanda

      2. Mary says:

        Ian – you truly called it! The “eye of a needle” was an excellent analogy as well. Thanks for the insight & hope you managed to take in this truly amazing show by “mother nature”!

    2. Norman Seward says:

      Climb Everest! I think the summit may be spared

  9. Iamheatherj says:

    FYI watching news and warning sirens were activated in Maui about an hour ago

  10. marsha says:

    It is a WATCH. not WARNING as I heard reported on u tube. No need to panic, I doubt the entire city of SF for example(where I am) will be covered in water!! Beware of sensationalist reporting!!!!!!!

    1. Michele says:

      Watch the news on CNN, Fox and local stations. Marsha you are incorrect. The National Weather Center has issued a WARNING (not a Watch). Please refer to the National Weather Center and/or the Pacific Weather Center.

      1. Linda says:

        I believe this is a Warning and not a Watch, Considering shutting down BART

    2. mike says:

      Well Marsha how about you go sip some hot toddies on ocean beach while the rest of us keep an eye out. Best of luck to ya. Take pictures with ur cell phone for us, k?

    3. VG says:

      No, the entire city of SF w/NOT be covered but It is a warning and unpredictable – Grow up!

  11. Tom 'Tsunami Tom' T says:

    Tsunami Tom says “do not underestimate the terrors a Tsunami can inflict. Please show you are smart by taking this warning serious. This is not a watch, but a warning. If you are a surfer, please do not try to ride the Tsunami, as i have done in the past. How do you think i gots the name Tsunami Tom? TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTsunami Tom in the house!

  12. Ryan says:

    It is, in fact, a warning according to the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center.
    You can check whether your particular area is under warning at:
    http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=37.44760632481655&lon=-122.21946716308594&site=mtr&smap=1&unit=0&lg=en&FcstType=text

  13. Sherron says:

    IT IS A WARNING!!!! Not A watch per U.S.Severe weather alerts on my iPhone weather, also on yahoo for bay area, also fox new channel covering live and per local radio. Get up to date marsha.

  14. Trina says:

    How far inland does a tsunami go? Is martinez far enough away from the SF coast? Should I tell my son, who lives in SF, to take BART home to Martinez tonight?

    1. Norman Seward says:

      from Martinez, hop on Amtrack and head for Chicago, he may be able to outrun it

  15. Tom 'Tsunami Tom' T says:

    People… Get to higher ground ASAP. This is Tsunami Tom with the latest advice on this Tsunami warning. The entire pacific ocean has been warned. Tsunami Tom will be answering questions and signing autographs at the beach starting at 7:00AM. Then I will surf the Tsunami starting under the GG bridge, as far as it takes me inland. Be there!

    1. CaliforniaGal says:

      that’s funny…🙂 Tom, you’re funny. I’ll be there to watch you!

  16. ernest says:

    have faith in God

  17. Cloudy says:

    What’s the betting Ocean Beach and the Golden Gate Bridge will be jammed with people waiting to watch the tsunami roll in? The biggest disaster will probably be the morning traffic.

  18. Sherron says:

    Read the above article. It lists the counties affected by the warning. Contra Costa County for example. If you live on the delta or near any water ways get out

  19. eric says:

    what are the chances that san jose will be hit?

    1. Lily says:

      God I hope San Jose isn’t hit, I live there with most of my family.

    2. John says:

      Why is it that so many people over react to Tsunami warnings? I understand if you live on the coast but San Jose? Really? Come on now people. Get a grip and say a prayer for the people of Japan.

  20. Warren says:

    does this mean i shouldn’t go to school tomorrow? i go to City College of San Francisco.

    1. Tripp Knightly says:

      Your question suggests you should avail yourself to every day of school you can get.

      1. Norman Seward says:

        LMAO

  21. marsha says:

    I just heard on cnn that water on west coast could rise 3 to 4 feet if there is tsunami, affecting people living on or very near the shore. People THAT close to water may have to move a bit. No, I’ve never surfed in my life, have no plan to go to the beach to ride a wave tonight, I live in SF inland. WATCH–WARNING–TOMATO–TOMAHTO, a rose by any other name!!!!!! My heart goes out to people of Japan, that’s where the real didaster is. I’m a 62 year old woman, very informed, and have the sense to listen and not panic. I’ve lived through hurricanes back east where I’m from.
    So chill out, take care, and that’s all I have to say for today..

    1. GoalieGrrl says:

      Warning = Inundating wave possible = Full evacuation suggested
      Watch = Danger level not yet known = Stay alert for more info.
      That’s from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Warning = prepare to evacuate. Watch = Stay alert for more info. You grow some weird-ass tomatoes if they differ that greatly. Normally I wouldn’t reply to such ignorance but you might influence someone, and if they base their immediate decisions on your misinformed nonsense, then it’s on my head if I don’t correct you. Check this map: http://wcatwc.arh.noaa.gov/2011/03/11/lhvpd9/06/wwareaslhvpd9-06.gif

  22. Terry Sandie says:

    What exactly does this mean for surrounding cities?

  23. Chris says:

    Other media indicates that the first waves to reach the mouth of the Bay would be at about 8am our time. From CNN it sounded like it is difficult to predict wave size until it reaches buoy sensors. At least that’s what they are saying about Hawaii atvthis point. Also I saw that the Big Island just had a 4.5 earthquake of their own. Wow…

  24. Joe says:

    At Sendai on the nearby coast of Japan they had 3 meters (~12 feet). By the time it hits the Bay area is should be greatly diminshed and I doubt it would do more than add a foot or so to the average water height. However, everything is compressed as it goes through the mouth of the Bay so it could be a great to see from the heights of the surrounding areas, Marin headlands, Presidio park (up high), etc.

  25. Lou Cifer says:

    Is God riding the tsunami?

    1. Norman Seward says:

      yes, and he will rapture the righteous stranded on rooftops

  26. @sexandstoges says:

    any new news about wether san jose in santa clara county will be hit?

  27. david L says:

    how far off berkeley can the tsunami go??? on san pablo ave near University ave.

    1. Sandy says:

      I’m asking my son to not go to a am class near that intersection. If I lived down there, (we live on a hill a little north) I’d wake up early and go hang in some UC Berkeley campus bldg, since the elevation there is 150 feet or more above sea level. Your elevation is about 40 feet above sea level. But I always rather be safe than sorry.

  28. Jalal says:

    http://healthomg.com/2011/03/10/japanese-quake-how-to-survive-a-tsunami/

    Some tips to survive a Tsunami. Please share with your loved ones in the affected area.

  29. Kira says:

    Where to check what is safe spot in san francisco? Is south san francisco around skyline safe?

  30. xx says:

    How come I’m reading some articles that say the tsunami isn’t going to hit the west coast afterall? I don’t know which ones to believe now!

  31. Philip Scharfy says:

    Frisco, Hollywood, West Hollywood undewater?

    Gee, what a (non)loss…

    1. michael right says:

      Learn to write, dull Philip, and perhaps people will listen to your banal opining.

    2. kori says:

      I wrkeod for Ann Richardson in SF when she had her own practice. All stories about her inappropriate behavior is true. She also propositioned my daughter (who was 25 at the time) to be a surrogate for her and her husband Ron.She is not an honest person.If she doesn’t get her way, she gets nasty.

  32. jimmy chen says:

    i live right next to the beach ..

  33. Sherron says:

    If you live in S.F. I would tell you go up any of your streets. Most take you higher and should be more than fine. I don’t know about so.S.F. where my son-in-law works next to the bay and my other son being a flight attendant leaving SFO between 8 and 8:30am. I never panic but am a bit worried of course. Tsunami’s are nothing to take litely . Technology is good but never underestimate mother nature. God bless, be safe, drive careful if your going out.

  34. j streeter says:

    ive already got my seats reserved to watch the end of the world, me,jack daniels, and a big fatty sitting on a hilltop on the sonoma county coast. I’ll be taking video so if it gets exciting i’ll post the footage as soon as i can.

    ~Ride the Wave~

    1. trackjunkie says:

      Make some popcorn for me while you’re at it!

    2. Susan Gall says:

      what good will the video do you if the world ends?

  35. ieze says:

    Alameda- Oakland. Should i be concerned?

    1. Sara says:

      They gave a warning for Alameda county as well

  36. Ryan says:

    A good place to check and see if you’re in a potential inundation zone (which are pretty small) is to go to your county’s sheriff’s website and check the “Office of Emergency Services” section. I know that you can find the inundation zone maps for San Mateo county at http://www.smcready.org/docs/TsunamiBrochure.pdf.

  37. Alex says:

    Is it a real danger??

  38. tammy says:

    i live in south sanfrancisco will we be safe here is the bay water here going to be part of it i take bart to work in sf but my children go to school here i am worried to leve them at school will it hit here in south sanfrancisco?

  39. Brenda says:

    Im in east Oakland by 580 freeway by 98th and Macarthur blvd im not sure where the closest water is .. should I be worried?

    1. Sara says:

      Yes I would be worried, just evacuate for now. Better to be safe than not

  40. Eve A says:

    Anyone hear anything about Hayward area???

  41. Sara says:

    What about Fremont? Should I be worried? This is ridiculous all they say is san francisco that’s it..

  42. hameed says:

    SF: just the coastal areas is what they are advising, but make sure you are ready to survive the Tsunami, if you are in the area.
    Just google for survival steps or view this link, which outlines some important steps to take
    http://healthomg.com/2011/03/11/hawaii-tsumani-warning-what-to-do/

  43. Sandy says:

    Go on-line and check your elevation. Low lying areas might not be safe this morning around 7 am till when they call the all clear. That’s what the reports are saying, they are saying leave low lying areas, and move to higher elevations. Sea level is 0, move up. The UC Berkeley main Campus is between 150-200 ft above sea level, and also directly opposite the Golden Gate, so if there was a Tsunami, seems it might push further inland there.

  44. Mocha18 says:

    I’m in Richmond and I want to know should I move

  45. Joshua Louis-Photography says:

    SSU PEACIN OUT>

  46. Mocha18 says:

    I’m in parchester village a few blocks away from the water what should I do I’m in Richmond

  47. jenny says:

    what are the chances that palo alto will be hit?

  48. Buster Jenny Matias says:

    what are the chances that palo alto will be hit?

  49. Sara says:

    If your elevation level is below 30 feet you’re at high risk of being hit by a tsunami. (that is if you live close to the coast) Check!

    1. Buster Jenny Matias says:

      wer to check

  50. Mrs Blakely says:

    the news didnt even think it would hit hawaii four hours ago now their evacuing , so i wouldnt wait for them to verify now their saying it will hit specifically the bay so is there need for further warning…better safe than well you know

  51. denise says:

    I live in watsonville,ca should I be concerned about the tsunami? Should I move to higher ground?

    1. Terry says:

      Drive up 156 and watch from the mountain top.

  52. Mrs Blakely says:

    they just also added san joaquin valley due to the delta and multiple waves that will hit the inland everybody keeps thinking its only one wave.. no. lets not be another katrina, history will repeat itself, estemated time it will last is the next twelve hours

  53. Mocha18 says:

    It’s hitting hawaii now

  54. terry says:

    The best way to keep a check on what unravels in Hawaii. It might give us a good pointer of what is coming our way to San Francisco.
    you can watch live Hawaii Tsunami here
    http://healthomg.com/2011/03/11/live-update-on-hawaii-tsunami/

  55. Ed.A says:

    Please stop raising alarms. The tsunami coincides exactly with a very low tide of only a few inches above the chart level – the lowest expected sea level for any ships to avoid grounding. Add less than 2 feet to that, and the water levels will still be well below the average water level, and a few feet below a typical high tide. If this were to hit at a very high tide plus a storm surge, we might have problems, but the conditions are exactly the opposite right now.

    The maps being shown by CBS are showing widespread coastal inundation, which is completely false. The animations show giant surf starting miles offshore – also scare mongering. The tsunami is more like a bulge in the ocean that will cause a slow drop and rise in sea level. It is not something you can surf on. The local waves will be about the same.

    Please, reopen the PCH, and stop broadcasting warnings about BART stations being flooded.

    1. John says:

      Finally someone on here that is being rational about all of this. Chill out people. It’s not the end of the world and California is not going to be under water. Everyone needs to read Ed’s post above this comment.

    2. Ed.A says:

      In fact, what will probably occur is a maybe 1 foot negative tide. Expect tidepools to be about as exposed as they would be during the most extreme low lunar tides.
      The tide will come back in quickly after that, so DO NOT go tidepooling or you might get caught by surprise. It will still be a very low tide.

      The pressure wave travels at high speed, but it is not a wall of water. Surf isn’t especially high, and it won’t make the wave height any larger. Please stop your weather guy from continuing the scare showing red inundation areas miles inland. The videos you see from Japan will not be happening here.

      There is no reason to park at the top of Skyline until the wave has passed, unless you are looking for an excuse to play hookie.

      1. Ed.A says:

        Rather than fueling the anxiety, CBS could do a lot to put folks’ minds at ease.

        The waves won’t be pounding the shore any more than normal. Theer will be no great surge of energy. Stop predicting local damage. Any real risk might be from ships grounding from a lack of water in small harbor.

        Certainly warn people NOT to go out into the tidepools, because the water after the water level drops, it will quickly rise again slightly above normal, which will still be a low tide. Someone might get knocked over by a wave if they go out into the tidepools.

        Making decisions based on early high water reports from the northern coast is silly, because the opposite would cause a bad decision (if it were to matter).

        Please, cover more details about Japan and relief efforts, but let people know that it will NOT be happening here today.

  56. Alicia Gonzalez says:

    THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT HAWAII RIGHT NOW SEEMS TO BE NON-DESTRUCTIVE SO FAR – MINIMAL “DANGER” WHICH IS DEFINITELY A GOOD INDICATION FOR US IN THE BAY AREA. EVERYONE HAVE A CAREFUL DAY🙂

    BAY AREA WAVES RIGHT NOW ARE EXPECTED 2-4 FT. MOST PEOPLE SHOULD BE SAFE IN THEIR HOMES GO 2 ELEVATED AREAS/BLDGS. IF WORRIED DON’T PANIC. IF YOU ARE VERY CONCERNED – THERE R EVACUATION CENTERS BEING SET UP AT VARIOUS SCHOOLS THROUGHOUT THE AREA – SO FAR – HAWAII ONLY HAD A .7 FT JUMP – NOT HIGH BUT THE GAGE IS STILL SHOOTING UPWARDS. WE SHOULD BE “OK” IN OUR AREAS – BUT STAY AS MUCH INLAND AS POSSIBLE🙂

  57. CalmYourself! says:

    For godsakes people – get a grip! San Jose is 50 miles INLAND. Do you seriously think there is ANYTHING to worry about there?????????

    Just because this is exciting news to some of you, leave out the hysteria.

  58. Ed.A says:

    Please stop raising alarms. The tsunami coincides exactly with a very low tide of only a few inches above the chart level – the lowest expected sea level for any ships to avoid grounding. Add less than 2 feet to that, and the water levels will still be well below the average water level, and a few feet below a typical high tide. If this were to hit at a very high tide plus a storm surge, we might have problems, but the conditions are exactly the opposite right now.

    Yes, the area on the pacific coast is shown in red. The highest areas in Japan were hit by 120cm, just over 3 feet, but at a high tide. You are seeing footage of inundated low lying coastal areas behind a broken levee. Expect hundreds of fatalities and billions in damage in Japan, but the US West Coast will not see much more than a slow rise and fall of water levels, already well below the average tide mark.

  59. imperiouz says:

    so would this be good to go fishing ???

  60. Helloseekers says:

    Is it global warming or an earthquake?!!

  61. Dan Rakow says:

    I like to send my heartfelt Prayer and Thought to our Friends in Japan following 8.9 Earthquake and I am also praying for the Safety and guidance for our Friends in Hawaii and the U.S. West Coast especially Northern California Bay Area during the Tsunami Warning and hopfully everone to taking precautions out there.

  62. Ed.A says:

    Wow. CBS newscasters and weather alarms are contributing to a mass hysteria. Please, find a NOAA scientist, who would probably be awake an putting out real alerts if there were any risk of inundation. The automated alerts came from an automatic system in Alaska.

    You will be embarassed to be reporting giant waves on the way. The gridlock you are reporting on highway 92 is caused by your alarming coastal residents.

    1. Ed.A says:

      Wow, your reporters are now talking about the possibility of the tsunami cracking open the transbay tube. Please stop the inunformed pseudoscientific speculation.

  63. No tsunami panic says:

    I live 50yds from the water at Ocean Beach and i have a bad feeling about this…I know its going to occur during a low tide which is good but I think my garage is gonna get swamped. Guess I should move the car and put my wetsuit on. Im gonna watch from my bay window which a bloody mary and breakfast.

  64. tim says:

    Just read that the actual cause of the tsunami was Chuck Norris roundhouse kicking the ocean.

  65. littleone says:

    Just remember Katrina in 2005 when a warning is issued, Just do it! Never know what mother nature is truely capable of wiping out!

  66. BLOOMBERG FOR PREZ says:

    THIS IS A NON-STORY!!!!!!! WE SHOULD BE TALKING ABOUT WHAT A GREAT JOB I AM DOING RULING NYC

  67. beach Boy says:

    Dude, Surfs Up!!!!

  68. Los says:

    Im in Fresno, should I worry about the Tsunami??

    1. Norman Sewards says:

      yes! run for mexico!

  69. Joe McMurray says:

    Listen people, this is REAL. This is not a simple storm. I ask that everyone listen to the warnings. For your safety and the safety of your loved ones listen. My prayers are with all involved in this. Let us keep Japan in all of our prayers.

  70. jerry says:

    the last time we had something like this we got nothing which blows because the news made such a big deal about it and u know what people when u here it its just fear and fear feeds the fire so again i say no worries just listen to the news and hey if these times were to hit why havent we heard anything huh?

  71. Robin says:

    The warning has been cancelled.

    TGIF-

    http://wcatwc.arh.noaa.gov/index.php

  72. Ed.A says:

    Please do not propagate the seven foot surge misinformation. Wave height measurements at a buoy might hit seven feet, but that’s not going to be changed by the tsunami.

    Since CBS added to the early hysteria, perhaps your apologies could hint that people consider this as a live drill for future disaster preparedness.

  73. Jamie says:

    Don’t worried trust in miricalz

  74. Scott says:

    whoever Lawrence is for channel 5..way to over emphasize the few people who didnt tie their boats down correctly…”Torn from their morrings…people running from waves that are clearly running to tie the boat down..not from the waves that came “crashing in” way to cuase bs panic…think about Japan

  75. David. C says:

    What’s going on in Pillar Point Harbor & Mavericks??!!!!

  76. Tex says:

    Tsunami? Hell, I’m still waiting for snow fall in san francisco and the niners to make the playoffs.

  77. Rusty says:

    newsdork Lawrence in santa cruz just learned the word topography…..way to make a News Circus around Japans trajedy Channel 5…..

  78. luis says:

    tnks so much for the datails is very omportant to anyone know the information much is posible to prevent a critical cituation because at our actual conditions we are’t havind a previos plan to evacuated

  79. deathbylapdance says:

    this and everything else that is going to kill us all is greatly exaggerated…slow news day unless you own a boat in Santa Cruz harbor

  80. Muhammed Nidal says:

    Godzilla Warning For Hanzu and Tokyo, Japan!!!!

    First reports of Godzilla having been awakened by the earthquake are now coming from northern Japan.

    Godzilla is reportedly wading through outlying villages and making his way towards Tokyo at approximately 20 MPH, leaving a wake of destruction in his path.

    The Japanese military has been put on high alert.

    President Obama has said that his administration is “tightening the noose around Godzilla’s head” and that “it’s time for him (Godzilla) to go.”

    1. Stephanie says:

      TOO SOON.

  81. bot says:

    Hi can I get a cheeseburger and some fries?

  82. Bloodhounds says:

    Just goes to show you Mother Nature bats last!

  83. 8.9? I shouldn’t be surprised that it affected the Bay Area, but I still am. Prayers for those in Japan.

  84. Charley says:

    MotherNature, “winning!”

  85. ethanchellan says:

    Its shocking how the earth is changing. I feel so bad for the japanese. I couldnt believe my eyes when I saw how boats, cars and houses were washed away in the ocean. Shocking, but we must be so grateful that something that big hasn’t struck us. Praying for Japan.

  86. elizabeth 1310 says:

    i am so sorry that that happened in japan. ill pray for all the lost souls!

  87. kaboom4me says:

    The tsunami is going to hit hawaii, alaska, oregon washington california, north west of mexico, west coast of brazil, indonesia, and other islands in south eastern asia. they have hit China and Russia. We should all donate money to Japan for the damage😛 But Korea has not been hit by a tsunami yet.

  88. Andres Garcia Cervantes says:

    its a lil tsunami

  89. chuyo649 says:

    HELP JAPAN! let the world know! that we are good and decent people! and more then willing to put our petty differences aside! lest we perish alone! god help us all! give what you can! do not look back! may it be return to you ten fold! god bless us all.

  90. Eli Shane Poblitz says:

    Here’s a virtual tour of Pacifica waiting for the Tsunami today: http://bayareavr.com/featured/tsunami_pacifica/

  91. princess says:

    i really hope this will end , i think we all need gods prayers , its a warning to everyone , and i really hope everyone are safe and less damage around the world

  92. Rhamhy says:

    if im from oakland should i feel threatened will the tsunami hit us hard

  93. JaneQPublic says:

    I guess the MORON who died trying to photograph the tsunami got his wish to see it ‘up close & personal’. He also put his friends lives in danger as they tried to save him. It’s NOT a make-believe TV show folks. Tsunami WARNING means ‘get the hell out of the way – NOT “Let’s go take pictures…”!! Darwin strikes again….

  94. Norma says:

    I understand that some people were concerned in the Bay Area but everyone needs to understand we had several hours warning. Japan had only a few minutes before MASSIVE waves came crashing in. All these videos showing Bay Area residents “boo hooing” over some of their boats slamming up against other boats makes us look like sad residents. What do you think the people in Japan would see us as crying over here about this? We had a chance to tie boats down better (for the boats that got away) or place buoys between boats to prevent such intense slamming. Japan had buildings and large vessels swept away. Granted, the boats in the bay that slammed together because the docks were ripped apart can’t have much said. But how about maintaining the docks a little better? People pay for boat slips for a reason. Stop complaining Bay Area. Things are far worse in other areas.

    1. ITA that ours is miniscule compared to Japan.

      “We had a chance to tie boats down better (for the boats that got away) or place buoys between boats to prevent such intense slamming”

      It wouldn’t have made a difference in Crescent City considering their entire harbor is gone.

  95. Bruce Salem says:

    Can you find tide gage measurements for Bay Area and Coast of the Tsunami Surges?

  96. psycholog warszawa says:

    I at backside perceive your masterly approach. These are pieces of unreservedly sufficient exude that wishes be of abundant insufficiency seeking me in tomorrow

  97. mowBorJeomB says:

    I suppose this post is concerning to study. Keep it going pal

  98. sesBrescistorblex says:

    Здравствуйте, уважаемые форумчане.
    Мое имя Женя. Наконец-таки я зарегился на вашем сайте. Здесь необычайно няшно.

    Надеюсь, мы живо подискутируем.

    Зацените видяху, плиз: Bleach Movie 4 Jigoku-hen trailer №4 (русские субтитры)

    Женя.

  99. robert downey jr workout says:

    Are you ready for great abs now?” Now is the perfect time to get the abs and trim waistline you have always dreamed of but haven’t been able to have. Having sexy abs or a trim waist is one of the best ways to not only turn heads while you are at the beach or pool, but also to feel better about yourself.

  100. Velda says:

    Take advantage of popular programs to get FREE traffic for any site. Potential 1 Million visitors for REAL. http://tiny.cc/8lypo YouTube� and Twitter Combo traffic generating program. Just launched and proven for traffic to your site.

  101. vipgod says:

    Отличная статья, мне нарвится, достойно.

  102. Steve Clayton says:

    A wonderful thing about angling is that even if you never catch anything it is still fun.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS San Francisco

Get The New CBS SF Bay Area Local App
Got Our Weather App?

Listen Live