8cz.jpg Twitter image: Rob Spectre

5:14 PM: AlertSF’s in the game!

At 10:48 am an 8.0 earthquake was registered off the coast of American Samoa. At 1502 hours a Tsunami Advisory was issued for the coast of California. The tsunami is expected to generate a wave amplitude of less than 50 cm for San Francisco. This may cause currents that can be hazardous for boaters and swimmers, but it is not expected to do damage to the coastline. The first waves are expected to hit SF at approximately 2125 hours and last for a few hours. We are advising the public to please avoid swimming and boating this evening.

Got that? 50 cm waves (that’s 19 inches for people who do not hate America), hazardous currents, all hitting the shore at 21:25 (9:25 PM PT for those of us with canned beer and pickups), when it will be too dark to see anything. So, hey, don’t go swimming at 9:30 tonight, alright?

4:40 PM (BCN):A tsunami advisory is in effect for the California coast including the Bay Area tonight after an 8.0-magnitude earthquake generated a tsunami around the Samoa islands this morning, a National Weather Service meteorologist said.

The southwest-exposure points along the California coast, including Santa Cruz beaches and Ocean Beach in San Francisco, could see up to a 60-centimeter elevation of water sometime around 8 or 9 p.m. as a result of the tsunami, meteorologist Dan Gudgel said.

“The southern exposed beaches are the most vulnerable since the earthquake was generated southwest of the Bay Area,” he said.

The rise in water is not expected to coincide with the high tide, which is expected around 6 p.m., according to Gudgel.

4:40 PM: Friend of the Appeal Rob notes that the tsunami advisory was updated, and remains in effect for California, Hawaii, and Oregon. Don’t start running towards Reno just yet: according to NOAA, this warning merely means that there may be strong currents, and that “large inundations are not expected in areas under advisory status.”

Rob also took the image above at about 4:30, saying Windy as hell, but no tsunami peeking over the horizon.

3:34 PM: Wow, it’ll suck if this AP article is wrong, because I just hit the Outer Sunset.

The article, which says that the powerful earthquake that hit Samoa, causing a tsunami that has killed at least 14, will not cause a tsunami to hit our coast. It’s even headlined “No tsunami expected on West Coast from sea quake.”

So, guess we’ll just ignore this tsunami advisory issued at 3:02 today and go about our business. And, of course, will report back when the waves hit our building. Just kidding, we’re making some calls. Stay tuned!

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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