EUGENE, Ore. -- A tsunami advisory took effect on the coasts of Oregon and California after an 8.3 earthquake rocked American Samoa Tuesday morning. Coast residents were warned to move out of the water, off the beach and out of harbors and marinas.
Forecasts predicted sea levels could rise between 6 inches and 2 feet, resulting in strong currents and rip tides as the water pulls back from the coast.
Forecasters are "not expecting any kind of damaging tsunami," National Weather Service forecaster Charles Dalton said Tuesday. "We're certainly not looking at any kind of coastal innundation.
'It's not going to be a big crashing wave barreling towards the coast," Dalton said.
Although no significant coastal flooding is expected, some areas could experience dangerous current and surges in harbors and bays tonight around 9:30 or 10:00 p.m. In an excess of caution, the Lane County Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol deputies will be in the area conducting a light patrol of the area to encourage people to stay away from the beaches.
The small tsunami is expected to reach the Oregon Coast between 9 and 10 p.m. Southern coastal towns will see rising water first, while farther north the water will start to rise closer to 10 p.m.
In Oregon, National Weather Service forecasters expect the ocean to rise between half a foot to one foot. That is not enough to damage any buildings, piers or boats, according to Dalton.
Still, they are warning people to stay out of the water and off beaches.
"The biggest impact is they're expecting some significant currents, a lot of strong currents," Dalton said. "Beachgoers should definitely stay away from the beach."
The wave is called a tsunami, but it is not expected to be a dramatic event on land. When the wave arrives, it will likely be a gradual rise in water level over the course of approximately one hour. Dalton said it won't even be noticeable to people on the coast.
The tsunami advisory expires at 2 a.m.