Tsunami advisories remained in effect in some areas of Southern California on Thursday amid concerns about waves generated by a huge earthquake in Chile, but local command posts were deactivated after the initial tsunami waves to strike the Southland turned out to be small — under a foot. The Los Angeles Fire Department’s unified command post with city law enforcement became operational about 3:30 a.m. at Angels Gate Park in San Pedro but was deactivated after daybreak.
The Orange County Emergency Operations Center’s public information hotline was deactivated about 7 a.m., according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
About 6 a.m., all beaches, harbors, piers, and marinas in Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Dana Point and San Clemente — including county and state beaches in Orange County — were reopened after having been closed a couple of hours earlier, the sheriff’s department reported. No beach closures were ordered in Los Angeles County.
But authorities throughout the areas subject to the tsunami advisories warned members of the public to stay away from the waterfront, including marinas and piers. Authorities had cautioned that waves could rise as high as three feet along the shores of Los Angeles and Orange counties and the Central Coast.
The National Weather Service issued the advisories Wednesday night, warning of strong currents that could prove “hazardous to swimmers, boats and coastal structures.”
The earthquake that triggered the high-wave threats struck off the coast of central Chile at 3:55 p.m. Wednesday and had a preliminary magnitude of 8.3.
Shortly before 9 a.m., the NWS reported that a tsunami advisory remained in effect for southwest California from Point Piedras Blancas to Long Beach.
“The tsunami waves have been observed on tide gauge observations up and down the coast, indicating water level changes of around a foot so far,” the NWS reported.