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SF beaches, coastal access areas closed amid tsunami advisory

Tsunami Hazard Zone sign

    San Franciscans woke up to an unusual weather alert Saturday morning: A Tsunami advisory warning California residents located in coastal areas to “move off the beach and out of harbors and marinas.”

    The National Weather Service (NWS) issued the Tsunami Advisory for all of coastal California, including parts of the Bay Area, following a large underwater volcanic eruption near the Tonga Islands Friday night.

    Emergency officials have closed all San Francisco beaches and closed off all of the city’s coastal access points, according to a tweet from the San Francisco Fire Department (SFFD) about 11 a.m. Saturday morning.

    The San Francisco Department of Emergency management said to expect up to 3-foot waves and strong currents. Officials are telling residents to stay away from beaches and low coastal areas until the advisory is lifted.

    Just after 2:30 p.m., the SFFD reported that a search and rescue was under way at Ocean Beach to recover a surfer 300 feet out whose board had been smashed by surge waves. A helicopter and boat were sent out, and eventually the surfer as well as the department’s rescue swimmers were transported safely to shore.

    Mary Ellen Carroll, the executive director of San Francisco’s Department of Emergency Management, tweeted that San Francisco is still currently in status “green” and there is no need yet to move to higher ground.

    The waves caused by the volcano were expected to arrive in California around 7:30 a.m., with peak waves occurring possibly one to two hours later and arriving “in pulses throughout the day.”

    The eruption was first reported late Friday night.

    Kevin Truong contributed to this report. He can be reached at