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Tsunami advisory posted for California coastline

The San Luis Obispo County coastline is under a tsunami advisory, as is the entire California coast, as a result of a giant earthquake tha struck offshore of Chile early today. At least 122 people have been confirmed dead in early counts.

People were advised to stay away from California beaches as a precaution.

Senior chief Kirk McKay of the U.S. Coast Guard station in Morro Bay said that people should not venture onto beaches or marinas. "An advisory is to keep people away from beaches and marinas because there could be strong surges," he said.

An advisory means a tsunami is possible. Forecasters said there may be strong currents, but did not expect widespread inundation or damage to occur.

Jordan Scott, a spokesman for the California Office of Emergency Management, said the state was monitoring the situation and that it was up to local communities to prepare.

If a tsunami hits the West Coast, the first waves would reach La Jolla near San Diego, according to the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center.

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