Big-wave surfers in Hawaii and California are preparing for the biggest waves of the year this weekend after a massive, 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit Japan on Friday, triggering tsunami warnings across the U.S. West Coast as well as in 19 other countries.
Here's the latest from the National Weather Service.
The tsunami warning suggests that all coastal residents in the watch area should prepare for possible evacuation, with the waves expected to hit the West Coast after 7 a.m. local time this morning.
The high-wave period can continue for many hours after the initial waves arrive.
Harbor officials in California, however, are cautioning that surfers and beachgoers stay out of the water because of the wave surges and currents that have been traveling over 500 miles.
Vandenberg Air Force Base on the Central Coast of California has already closed down all of its beaches this morning, as have a number of other beaches across the state.
Many pro surfers have chimed in on the quake via Twitter, although we haven’t seen any noting they’re going out this morning.
Here’s a look at what they’re saying:
- Mick_Fanning My thoughts to all Japanese people and others effected.
- RobKellySurf praying for my family and friends in Hawaii...be safe #tsunami
- claymarzosurf RT @theSURFBANG: If you're on a Pacific coastline, please check the Tsunami warnings in your area and be prepared! http://fb.me/QoAI8YCs
- paigehareb That japan earthquake was gnarly! What the hell is happening to the world! Only one thing to do....live life like today's ur last day!! Xoxo
- kerr_azy1 RT @Nikki_Kerr: Our thoughts & prayers go out to everyone is Japan! #lovetojapan