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Health Last Updated: Mar 11th, 2011 - 15:30:48

Tsunami Warning Expands to Cover Entire West Coast of U.S.
David Hope
Mar 11, 2011, 08:46

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Tsunami warning alerts had been issued for the coastlines of Oregon and central and northern California earlier this morning. Now, the warnings and watches have been applied to the entire West Coast of the United States. Warnings have also been issued for Central and Southern America as well as parts of the Canadian coastline.

The National Weather Service announced early Friday that waves could begin arriving in Crescent City, California as early as 7:23 a.m., with the San Francisco Bay Area to follow after 8 a.m.

A spokeswoman for Oregon's state emergency management office told Reuters that no residents are being forced to evacuate, however schools are closed along the coast and the National Guard is on standby.

A lower-level tsunami advisory has also been issued for the Southern California coast south of Point Concepcion, which includes southern San Luis Obispo County and the counties of Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego.

All people living in tsunami warning areas near the beach or in low-lying regions "should move immediately inland to higher ground and away from all harbors and inlets, including those sheltered directly from the sea," the weather service said.

"Those feeling the earth shake, seeing unusual wave action, or the water level rising or receding may have only a few minutes before the tsunami arrival and should move immediately. Homes and small buildings are not designed to withstand tsunami impacts."

Officials don't expect the waves to cause damage. The potential waves would be 3 feet or less, however people should still avoid beach areas.

Weather authorities also announced that they will update current conditions hourly in areas under an advisory until the warning is either upgraded or they determine the event poses no further threat.

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