SACRAMENTO—Four California Counties have lowered their status of warning after each had declared a state of emergency early Friday, March 11. The warning was a result of the immense waves on the Northern California coast caused by the 8.9 magnitude earthquake and the tsunami which hit Japan.
Governor Jerry Brown proclaimed a state of emergency in Del Norte, Humboldt, San Mateo and Santa Cruz after ports and buildings in the vicinity were damaged.
“I find that conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property exist due to the tsunami and water surge impacting the counties,” said Governor Brown in his statement of emergency.
At 5 p.m. the Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services lowered the evacuation warning to an advisory. The advisory cautions citizens to keep away from beaches and river bar areas but opens roads as conditions return to normal.
Public Information Officer of Santa Cruz County, Enrique Sahagun, declared the warning there was downgraded to a tsunami advisory. Residents were allowed to return to their houses, except for those residing near Small Craft Harbor, due to the damage in that area.
“Up to 20 boats have sunk, with significant damage to approximately 100 private vessels. The harbor’s infrastructure has also suffered significantly,” said Sahagun, in a press release.
San Mateo County returned to normal protocol at 4 p.m. The Sherriff’s Office of Emergency Services said in a statement that the warning level was reduced to advisory level because, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the area was at the lowest level of alert. No damages were reported and residents have begun to return to their homes.
In the county of Del Norte, a “Tsunami Warning Communications Test,” has been issued for March 23 at 11 a.m. through television and radio. The test will help residents prepare for any future disasters in the area.
According to a press release from the White House, the U.S. government continues to observe the situation in the Pacific region.
Other tsunami warnings were issued in coastal cities across California, such as Santa Monica and Malibu where residents were also encouraged to stay away from the water.