A surfer at Windansea. Photo by Chris Stone
A surfer at Windansea. Photo by Chris Stone

Most San Diego area beaches are open Sunday after a tsunami advisory, prompted by an underwater volcanic eruption Friday in the South Pacific, left much of the coastal shoreline closed Saturday.

“No further tsunami danger exists, however some areas may continue to experience small sea-level changes,” the National Weather Service said in an advisory issued early Sunday. “As local conditions can cause a wide variation in tsunami wave action, the all-clear determinations must be made by local authorities.”

Beaches, harbors and marinas were closed in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties early Saturday after the weather service warned of potential flooding and strong currents that could be hazardous to swimmers, boaters. and nearby structures.

People were advised to avoid the Southern California coastline, but no evacuation orders were issued. Similar warnings were also issued for Alaska, Hawaii and the entire West Coast, although all have now been canceled.

The first waves arrived along the San Diego coast at 7:50 a.m. Saturday and the advisory was canceled at 1:30 p.m.

The weather service reported maximum tsunami waves of 1.4 feet in San Diego and 0.6 feet in La Jolla. The highest tsunami coastal observations in California were in Port San Luis, with 4.3 feet reported.

The massive eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai underwater volcano, located 40 miles north of Tonga’s main island of Nuku’alofa, began shortly after 8 p.m. Pacific time Friday night.

Tonga remained largely out of contact on Sunday with telephone and internet links severed.

Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, told a news conference on Sunday, that the tsunami had caused extensive damage to the island nation of 105,000 people, but there were no reports yet of injuries.

“Nuku’alofa is covered in thick plumes of volcanic dust but otherwise conditions are calm and stable,” Ardern said.

City News Service and Reuters contributed to this article.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.