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Local residents headed to the beach to witness strong waves caused by the volcanic eruption

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Posted at 9:34 PM, Jan 15, 2022

An underwater volcano erupted 5,000 miles away on Friday night, which triggered tsunami waves across the Pacific basin.

In response, a tsunami advisory was issued by the National Weather Service for the entire west coast.

This advisory means asks residents to take action by staying off the water and beach areas and to avoid marinas and waterways.

That differs from a tsunami warning where the tsunami presents clear danger such as widespread flooding or where immediate evacuation is necessary.

“I’ve never seen anything like this," said San Luis Obispo County resident Donn Bryant.

Earlier on Saturday, large waves in Avila beach caught the eyes of many locals.

“For me, it was like a swirl almost like a tornado does or something like that," said Bryant.

“The water came up all the way to the swings up here, all the way past the volleyball net," said Mackenzie Roddy, who was visiting from Long Beach, CA.

The tsunami waves rose sea levels and left the waters choppy and dangerous, according to PG&E meteorologist, John Lindsey, the Port of San Luis tide gauge measured sea level at 8.1 feet.

The highest reading since January 27th, 1983.

The initial wave energy was forecast to reach Port San Luis around 7:40 A.M., with a series of waves following after, lasting well into the afternoon.

“We had a six-seven-foot tidal surge come into the bay at Port San Luis and then it subsided, and about another 45 minutes later, we had another eight-nine-foot surge with a couple of smaller surges in between," said Jake Vierra, Harbor Patrol supervisor.

Although no widespread flooding was expected, Harbor Patrol urged people on or near the water to stay off the area for their safety.

“You know with a tsunami people often anticipate a tsunami to be a 50-foot wave coming at you not a large surge coming at you, and they underestimate the hazards that are associated with that," added Vierra.

Harbor Patrol officials report that there have not been any damages in the area.

For more information on the advisory, you can visit this website.