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UPDATED: Santa Monica's Tsunami Advisory Is Finally Canceled

The alert was issued Friday after a massive earthquake struck Japan.

(Updated on Saturday at 9:21 a.m.): At 8:20 a.m., NOAA finally canceled the tsunami advisory for Santa Monica and other coastal areas between Alamitos Bay and the Oregon/California border.

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(Updated on Saturday at 1:08 a.m.): NOAA just issued a notice saying it still hasn't lifted the tsunami advisory for Santa Monica.

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(Updated on Saturday at 12:58 a.m.): The latest NOAA advisory, issued at 12 a.m., says the tsunami advisory for Santa Monica is still in effect.

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(Updated at 11:31 p.m.): The tsunami advisory for Santa Monica still remains in effect, according to the NOAA. The administration also said the biggest waves at Santa Monica Beach on Friday measured 2.8 feet tall.

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(Updated at 4:12 p.m.): A Santa Monica Police sergeant tells Santa Monica Patch that the city is essentially in the clear, even though a tsunami alert is still technically in effect. While swimmers are being warned about potential strong currents, the police are no longer cautioning people to stay away from the beach or the pier.

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(Updated at 4 p.m.): The Santa Monica Pier reopened Friday afternoon, with pedestrians and cars streaming down the bridge. The tsunami advisory is still in effect in Santa Monica, according to NOAA.

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(Updated at 3:42 p.m.): The tsunami warning that was previously in effect outside of Los Angeles County has been downgraded to a tsunami advisory, according to NOAA. The warning pertained to the coastal areas of California and Oregon from Point Concepcion in central California to the Oregon-Washington border.

The advisory for Santa Monica and other Los Angeles County coastal communities is still in place, as is the advisory for the coastal areas of Washington, British Columbia and Alaska from the Oregon-Washington border to Attu.

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(Updated at 3:02 p.m.): Two hours after our last update, the status is the same in Santa Monica: The tsunami advisory is still in effect; the pier and the beach are still closed (despite plenty of people on the sand); and the highest recorded wave still hasn't broken 3 feet, according to NOAA and other reports. We'll keep you posted ...

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(Updated at 1:02 p.m.): As of 12:46 p.m., the highest recorded wave in Santa Monica on Friday remains to be the one measured at 2.4 feet tall, according to NOAA.

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(Updated at 12:05 p.m.): NOAA now reports waves up to 2.4 feet tall in Santa Monica.

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(Updated at 11:03 a.m.): Since NOAA's last report, the administration has recorded waves up to 1.9 feet tall in Santa Monica.

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(Updated at 10:47 a.m.): The highest waves recorded in Santa Monica thus far Friday have been 1 foot tall, NOAA says. The tsunami advisory from the California/Mexico border to Point Concepcion is still in effect, according to the latest update, issued at 9:47 a.m.

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(Updated at 10:15 a.m.): Santa Monica Patch just caught up with John Pacheco,  CEO of the .

"We're in standby mode," he said, adding that he's been coordinating with Paul Weinberg, Santa Monica's emergency-services coordinator.

According to Pacheco, the largest waves that have arrived on Santa Monica Beach this morning have been 1.5 feet tall. They were expected to be as high as 3 feet.

Earlier Friday, the Red Cross' Santa Monica Chapter received calls from residents wondering if they should evacuate, Pacheco said. There have been no reported evacuations in Los Angeles related to the tsunami alerts.

In northern California, however, 10 evacuation sites have opened, according to the CEO. He finished a statewide Red Cross call shortly before speaking with Patch.

Pacheco noted that he hasn't heard of injuries, or damage to houses or boats, anywhere in California.

Pacheco said calls to the Santa Monica Chapter have dropped off since earlier Friday morning. Still, he expects more to start rolling in as people try to get in touch with family and friends in Japan, where the massive earthquake occurred. The phone lines will likely remain open over the weekend.

Those seeking such information can also go to RedCross.org, Pacheco said.

The phone number for the Red Cross in Santa Monica is 310.394.3773.

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(Updated at 9:59 a.m.): An hour and 20 minutes after the first waves were expected to come ashore, the waters remain quiet. While a handful of TV crews are still parked on Ocean Ave. and by the beach, the number of onlookers at has dropped from a few hundred to a few dozen. Maybe there's a better chance of an happening today in Santa Monica than a surge of big waves.

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(Updated at 9:25 a.m.): The spokesman for the Santa Monica Police Department says they will continue patrolling the beach area and pier all morning. He also said emergency-response officials in Santa Monica are monitoring the situation in tandem with the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management and Los Angeles County Fire Department Lifeguards.

"Mariners are advised to use caution and monitor the National Weather Service Tsunami Warning Web site, along with the news, for updates," Sgt. Jay Trisler said. "Persons in the tsunami advisory coastal areas should move out of the water and stay off the beach."

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(Updated at 9:09 a.m.): A half-hour after the first waves were due onshore, the Pacific Ocean appears tranquil. At the beach, a voice from a lifeguard helicopter overhead is warning people that the tsunami advisory is still in effect.

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(Updated at 8:48 a.m.): The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has now extended the tsunami advisory across the entire coast of L.A. County.

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(Updated at 8:39 a.m.): It's 8:39 a.m., when the first waves were expected to reach Santa Monica Beach. Nothing to see yet.

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(Updated at 7:20 a.m.): The impact of the expected surge could last up to 12 hours, Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Sam Padilla told City News Service. He said no evacuations are expected along the coastline.

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(Updated at 7:10 a.m.): Santa Monica Beach and the have been closed amid the tsunami advisory, SMPD Sgt. Roberto Lucio tells Santa Monica Patch.

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(Go here to check out photos of Santa Monica Beach and Santa Monica Pier on Friday morning.)

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(Updated at 7:04 a.m.): The West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center issued an update at 6:47 a.m. stating that the alerts described below are still in effect.

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(Updated at 5:34 a.m.): Low tide ends at at 8 a.m. this morning, which will help mitigate the potential surge, Santa Monica Fire Chief Carl Bjerke tells Santa Monica Patch.

"Santa Monica is in a pretty good position right now to endure whatever the surge may be," he said.

A three-foot wave is possible along the coast, including nearby areas, he said.

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(Updated at 5:15 a.m.): The waves that may reach Santa Monica "are not supposed to have any impact on the city itself," an SMPD officer tells Santa Monica Patch.

While beach lots will be closed and the public will not be allowed to access them, "people can still come onto the beach," the officer said.

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(Updated at 5 a.m.): While other media are reporting that Santa Monica is under a tsunami watch, that alert was previously upgraded to a tsunami advisory, which is more severe.

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(Updated at 4:45 a.m.): An officer with the tells Santa Monica Patch that they have not issued any additional alerts for the Santa Monica community beyond the advisory that was previously made by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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A tsunami advisory has been issued throughout coastal cities in Southern California, including Santa Monica, according to FEMA administrator Craig Fugate. The alert stems from a magnitude 8.8 earthquake that rocked the east coast of Honshu, Japan, at 9:46 Pacific Standard Time on Thursday night.

The advisory is in effect for the coastal areas of California from the California-Mexico border to Point Concepcion, California, the West Coast/ Alaska Tsunami Warning Center says. An advisory indicates that strong currents are likely and that the public should stay away from the shores.

Tsunami-related waves may take place in Santa Monica at 8:39 a.m., according to the National Weather Service.

An advisory is also in effect for the coastal areas of Washington, British Columbia and Alaska from the Oregon-Washington border to Amchitka Pass in Alaska.

A tsunami advisory means that "a tsunami capable of producing strong currents or waves dangerous to persons in or very near the water is expected," according to the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center. "Significant, widespread inundation is not expected for areas under an advisory. Currents may be hazardous to swimmers, boats, and coastal structures and may continue for several hours after the initial wave arrival."

A tsunami warning, which is the most severe alert and means that an "inundating wave" is possible, has gone into effect for the coastal areas of California and Oregon from Point Concepcion in central California to the Oregon-Washington border; the coastal areas of Alaska from Amchitka Pass to Attu; and Hawaii.

For emergency preparedness information, go to Fema.gov (m.Fema.gov for mobile phones) and Tsunami.gov.

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