UPDATE at 1:54 pm: Damage has now been reported. The Port of Brookings is telling the Associated Press that there is no longer much of a Port of Brookings. A man has been found dead on a commercial vessel, but he had a history of heart problems, and his discovery may be more a matter of authorities checking to see who's on boats. Here's a representative Brookings photo from the Oregon State Police.
UPDATE at 1:17 pm: It turns out that six-foot tidal surges, which did indeed hit stretches of the Oregon coast this morning around 9 am, are often not so dramatic as NOAA warnings had implied. Little damage has been reported, though most of the coast was evacuated as sirens sounded. This somehow did not stop one couple from going swimming, with predictable results:
A couple swimming in southwest Oregon between Brookings and Gold Beach
were swept about 50 yards out to sea, but were quickly rescued by the
Pistol River Fire Department, emergency officials said. "I can tell you both of them were recovered from the ocean and placed in
an ambulance," Curry County Sheriff's Deputy Kim Wood said.
Meanwhile, here's one direct fallout for Portland: The mouth of the Columbia River has been closed to shipping traffic.
UPDATE at 10:15 am: Fortunately at this point, all appears quiet on Oregon's western front, though a tsunami warning remains in effect for the Oregon Coast.
Below is the original post from 2:44 this morning:
Waves ranging from 3 to 6 feet are expected to hit the Oregon coast between 7 and 8 am today, as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has issued a Tsunami Warning for Oregon after an 8.9 magnitude earthquake hit Japan early this morning, causing massive destruction from a tidal wave.
A spokeswoman for Oregon emergency management has told the Salem Statesman-Journal that the size of waves headed for the Oregon coast will vary, but are expected soon after 7 am.
Emergency Management Duty Officer Abby Kershaw said information early
Friday indicated a wave of more than 6 feet could reach Brookings in
southern Oregon, while a wave of about 4 1/2 feet was predicted for
northern Oregon's Clatsop spit. The waves are expected between 7 a.m.
and 8 a.m.
She says counties hope to keep assessing new
information as they decide what to do to keep people safe. While some
counties have siren and loudspeaker systems, the spokeswoman says,
"nobody wants to set off sirens in the middle of the night"
The NOAA says a tsunami warning means inundating waves are possible, and a full evacuation of the coastline is suggested.
The NOAA web site adds: "A Tsunami Warning means that all coastal residents in the warning area who are near the beach or in low-lying regions should move immediately inland to higher ground and away from all harbors and inlets including those sheltered directly from the sea. Those feeling the earth shake, seeing unusual wave action, or the water level rising or receding may have only a few minutes before the tsunami arrival and should move immediately. Homes and small buildings are not designed to withstand tsunami impacts. Do not stay in these structures."
The 8.9 magnitude earthquake occurred 80 miles off the coast of Japan, with a tsunami inundating the nation's coastline soon after.
WW will update with new information throughout the morning.