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Seas rise, caution urged as tsunami threat remains after Tonga volcano erupts

Due to a volcanic eruption in the Tonga Islands, the National Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami advisory for California coastal areas Saturday morning. People should avoid the coastal areas in the Bay Area, multiple local public safety agencies said.

Widespread inundation is not expected, the weather service said. The effects of the tsunami will hit the coastal parts of the Bay Area at different times but were generally expected around 8 a.m. Saturday.

Live video from Pacifica near Sharp Park beach around 10 a.m. showed high surf and water levels but no inundation as of around 10 a.m. Beachgoers and dog walkers could be seen observing the waves at an overlook up a concrete embankment just beyond the sandy beach.

Earlier video near Pacifica Pier showed large waves cresting at the seawall, drenching observers behind a metal railing.

Residential and business flooding is not expected in San Francisco, but people in San Francisco should stay out of the water and away from the beaches all day, the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management said Saturday morning.

The department earlier issued an advisory telling the public in San Francisco to move away from all San Francisco beaches, harbor or marina docks or piers. The advisory is still in effect, but homes and businesses are not expected to be affected by flooding, the agency said.

Strong currents are expected off the coast for many hours, according to the agency.

Likening the tsunami’s effects to “the worst king tide, but cycling many times over a few hours,” the Sausalito Police Department said to clear beaches, campgrounds and low-lying areas.

People in Marin should stay out of coastal waters until an all-clear is given, according to the Marin County Sheriff’s Office. High tides are expected around 9 a.m. in Marin, the sheriff’s office said.

The Berkeley Fire Department issued an evacuation order for the city’s Marina district.

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