Public Safety

Chilean Earthquake Triggers Tsunami Advisory North of San Diego

An 8.3 magnitude earthquake that struck off the coast of Chile Wednesday led the National Tsunami Warning Center to issue a tsunami advisory at 6:43 p.m. PDT for a swath of California, from Orange County to north of San Luis Obispo. No action was necessary in San Diego County, the Center determined. The advisory was cancelled on Thursday.

The earthquake took place at 3:55 p.m. PDT off the coast of the South American country, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The temblor triggered tsunami activity in the Pacific Ocean. Here in California, the advisory covers an area from San Onofre State Beach to Ragged Point, which is 50 miles northwest of San Luis Obispo. The tsunami is expected to add one foot above tidal levels and is expected to start reaching the California coast starting around 4:30 a.m.

A tsunami advisory means that a tsunami capable of producing strong currents or waves dangerous to people in or very near the water is expected. Currents may be hazardous to swimmers, boats and coastal structures and may continue for many hours after the tsunami arrival. The first wave may not be the largest.

If you are in the advisory area, move off the beach and out of harbors and marinas. Inundation of land is not expected. Do not return to the coast until emergency officials say it is safe to do so.

For more information on the advisory, visit the National Tsunami Warning Center.

Visit the County’s ReadySanDiego emergency preparedness site for information before, during and after disasters, including earthquakes and tsunamis, or ListoSanDiego, the County’s Spanish emergency site. Other essential steps to prepare yourself: download the County’s no cost SD Emergency app in English or Spanish and register for AlertSanDiego, the region’s mass notification system.

Michele Clock is a group communications officer with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact