San Francisco area beaches shut after tsunami warning

San Francisco area beaches shut after tsunami warning

March 11th, 2011 by Associated Press in Local - Breaking News

With a tsunami warning in effect for Northern California, police patrol along San Francisco's Great Highway on Friday, March 11, 2011. Tsunami warnings were issued after an 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck Japan. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

SAN FRANCISCO - A few coastal school districts south of San Francisco cancelled classes and officials closed beaches and near-shore highways after a tsunami warning was issued following a strong offshore earthquake near Japan.

San Mateo County school districts in Half Moon Bay, Pacifica and the Pescadero area were all closed Friday as officials waited for the tsunami, expected to hit the coast throughout the morning.

Officials in San Francisco closed Great Highway, Ocean Beach and other city beaches.

BART officials said there was a possibility service would be suspended but were hopeful service would continue unabated.

School officials in Santa Cruz County say they did not close any schools but the city's harbor was evacuated.

The tsunami devastated Japan's eastern coastline, and hit Hawaii hours later but caused no major damage there.