15 Sep 2014
78° Clear
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Marina del Rey Clear After Tsunami Scare

Authorities issue a tsunami advisory for coast areas, including Marina del Rey, but no problems reported.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued a tsunami advisory Friday morning, but hardly any tsunami-generated waves appeared in Southern California.

"We did have some surges of 1 to 2 feet, but those are minimal," said Sgt. George Ducoulombier, watch commander at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Marina del Rey station. "All the boats, if you want to go out, you can go out. Everything is normal right now."

In Venice Beach, helicopters buzzed back and forth along the coastline Friday morning and Los Angeles Police Department officers stood guard in front of a closed-off Venice Pier, but otherwise it was business as usual.

NOAA issued a tsunami advisory warning early Friday morning, after an earthquake struck off the coast of Japan around 9:47 p.m. PST Thursday. A tsunami hit Japan minutes later.

"I was surfing at 8 this morning, but the lifeguards kicked me out," UCLA student Alexander Jozefov said in Venice. He and a friend were heading back into the water shortly after 9 a.m.

"We were just hoping we could get some bigger waves," Jozefov said.

Overall, the mood was more one of thwarted expectation than relief. At the end of Washington Boulevard, a few LAPD officers from Pacific Division watched over the closed pier.

Around 8:30 a.m., when NOAA had predicted a tsunami would hit, if it reached Los Angeles, about 100 people were gathered near the pier, watching the water.

"I guess they wanted to see some waves," said the LAPD's Sgt. Arana. Arana estimated that the pier would be reopened sometime Friday morning. The NOAA advisory was in effect until noon.

"I was out here last year for the Chilean one," said Gene Drennen, of Venice, who had stopped near the pier during a morning walk. A tsunami advisory was issued for Los Angeles in February 2010, when an 8.8-magnitude earthquake hit Chile.

"Maybe because of last year, I wasn't worried," Drennen said.

According to NOAA, advisories indicate "a tsunami capable of producing strong currents or waves dangerous to persons in or very near the water is expected. Significant, widespread inundation is not expected for areas under an advisory."

Local officials were on alert early Friday morning, including the Coast Guard, the Los Angeles Fire Department, the LAPD and the Los Angeles World Airports. Some damage has been reported in northern areas of California and up the coast. Hawaii is reported to have escaped major damage as well.

In Venice, as Drennen said, "It's just another beautiful day in Southern California."

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