U.S.’s West Coast on alert after Japan quake

Authorities on the West Coast of the United States were on alert Friday morning, bracing for potential aftereffects of the major earthquake off Japan that unleashed a destructive tsunami there.

Waves were expected to hit San Francisco at around 8 :08 a.m. and Santa Barbara at 8:17 a.m., according to the National Weather Service.

The San Francisco Police Dept. has closed Great Highway on the Pacific Coast from Point Lobos and 48th Avenue to Lake Merced, while the National Park Service closed Ocean Beach, Baker Beach, China Beach and Fort Funston, according to SFGate.com.

A tsunami warning was in effect for coastal areas of California and Oregon, from Point Concepcion to the Oregon-Washington border, according to the West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, the Bay Area Rapid Transit System, or BART, activated its emergency operations center, according to the transit system’s website. “Given the nature of our underground tunnels and stations we are exercising extreme caution,” BART said.

The 8.9-magnitude quake in Japan triggered a massive tsunami that caused significant loss of life and damage to property. Up to 300 bodies have reportedly been found in the city of Sendai, the nearest major city to the quake epicenter, the report added.

Source: Market Watch

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