- Associated Press - Thursday, September 17, 2015

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A slight ocean surge and powerful currents were reported at points along the entire coast of California as a very small tsunami arrived early Thursday following a magnitude-8.3 earthquake that hit off the coast of Chile, scientists and local officials said.

Swimmers and surfers were warned of strong currents and urged to stay out of the water.

Ventura Harbor experienced a 1.1-foot tsunami, while 0.4-foot heights were reported in San Diego to the south and 0.8-foot heights were seen at Crescent City near the Oregon border, according to the National Tsunami Warning Center. Los Angeles-area beaches and harbor saw water level heights around a half-foot.

Boats were bobbing in Ventura Harbor, said harbormaster John Higgins.

“You’ll see slow-moving streams coming in and going out, and at times the two converge upon each other and it creates turbulent water movement,” he said.



The activity was “completely manageable” and not expected to have damaging effects, Higgins said.

The surge was expected to continue for several hours, with wave cycles every 20 minutes and heights topping out at around one foot, said Paul Whitmore, the tsunami center’s director in Palmer, Alaska.

“It doesn’t sound like much but even a very small tsunami has a lot of power,” he said.

Orange County beaches, harbors, piers and marinas were reopened at 6 a.m., but swimmers and boaters were warned that strong currents could continue.

A tsunami advisory was issued Wednesday evening for a 300-mile stretch of California from south Orange County to Ragged Point about 50 miles northwest of San Luis Obispo. However, tsunami activity was reported well outside of the advisory territory - in Oregon, British Columbia and as far north as Alaska, where water heights of .6 foot were reported at King Cove. The California advisory was finally canceled early Thursday afternoon.

A tsunami advisory falls short of a tsunami warning, and waves inundating the land were not expected. No evacuations were ordered.

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