Del Norte dodges tsunami

January 12, 2007 11:00 pm
An 8.3-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of the Kuril Islands Friday evening, triggering tsunami warnings in Alaska, British Columbia, Hawaii and Japan and a tsunami advisory for the continental United States, including Del Norte County. (Illustration courtesy U.S. Geological Survey).
An 8.3-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of the Kuril Islands Friday evening, triggering tsunami warnings in Alaska, British Columbia, Hawaii and Japan and a tsunami advisory for the continental United States, including Del Norte County. (Illustration courtesy U.S. Geological Survey).

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Triplicate staff report

The National Weather Service called off a tsunami advisory for the Pacific coast that includes Del Norte County.

The advisory, issued Friday night, indicated a tsunami was possible but not expected from San Diego north to Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Weather service officials called off the advisory early Saturday morning.

Though a tsunami was not expected in the Crescent City area, should one have been generated, weather service officials estimated it would have struck this area at 4:45 a.m. Saturday. It would have reached Seaport, Ore., at 4:46 a.m.

A 8.3-magnitude earthquake struck 310 miles east of the Kuril Islands and northeast of Japan in the Pacific Ocean at 8:24 p.m. Pacific time. The quake occurred at a depth of 19 miles below the seabed.

Tsunami advisories were canceled Saturday in Alaska and Hawaii after officials determined waves from a powerful earthquake in the northern Pacific were too small to pose a threat.

A tsunami of less than 4 inches was recorded Friday night at Shemya, Alaska, at the western end of the Aleutians, the National Weather Service said.

"It's one of those situations where the indications are, when you look at Shemya and the other places in Japan, it really doesn't meet the criteria to be destructive," said National Weather Service spokesman Greg Romano.

A tsunami watch issued in Hawaii was also canceled.

The largest wave reported by Saturday morning was a 16-inch tidal surge along the shores of Chichi-jima, a Pacific island 620 miles south of Tokyo, more than three hours after the quake.

Earlier, a tidal swell of about 4 inches was recorded in Japan's northeastern coastal town of Nemuro, and a higher tide also was observed in other coastal towns, including Kushiro, Abashiri and Otaru, Japan's Meteorological Agency said.

A tsunami most recently struck the Crescent City Harbor on Nov. 15 following an earthquake near the Kuril Islands. Waves reached 5.9-feet in height and caused $1.2 million in damage.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.