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Strong Currents, Dangerous Waves Possible Along Calif. Coast

A tsunami advisory was issued for the California coast today after a powerful earthquake struck in the South Pacific near American Samoa.

Although no inundating waves were expected to hit California, the NWS warned that some strong currents and dangerous waves were possible beginning around 9 p.m.

The magnitude-8.0 temblor struck at 10:48 a.m. California time in the ocean and triggered a tsunami that leveled at least one Samoan village. Early media reports indicated that as many as 20 people had been killed.

The National Weather Service issued a tsunami advisory for the California coast, stretching from the Mexican border to the Oregon/Washington border.

"Coastal residents are advised to stay out of the water, off the beach and away from harbors and marinas," according to the NWS. "Wave heights and currents are amplified by irregular shoreline and are difficult to predict. The initial wave may not be the largest. Later waves may be larger. Mariners in water deeper than 600 feet should not be affected."

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