A tsunami warning has been issued for the central and northern coasts of California and Oregon, the National Weather Service said.

Waves generated by the tsunami will possibly arrive at Crescent City, Calif. (in extreme northern California), at 7:23 a.m. (PST) and the Bay Area just after 8 a.m. Waves are expected to hit central/southern at 8:30 a.m. and later.

People living in the areas where warnings were issued (or those who reside 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, the weather service warned.

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.” The Southern California coast (south of Point Concepcion) received a lower-level tsunami advisory – this region includes southern San Luis Obispo County and Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties.

According to the weather service “the potential exists for a tsunami 3 feet or less in Southern and Central California.

A tsunami warning suggests that waves “with significant widespread inundation is imminent or expected. Warnings indicate that widespread dangerous coastal flooding accompanied by powerful currents is possible and may continue for several hours after the initial wave arrival.”

On the other hand, a tsunami advisory indicates tsunami capable of generating strong currents or waves dangerous to anyone in or very near the water is expected, although it does not foretell widespread inundation.

Southern California beaches have been closed in anticipation of the tsunami.

Officials said they are temporarily prohibiting fishing, surfing and boating until further notice because of the risk of a tsunami.

Meanwhile, tsunami waves have already reached the coast of Hawaii, but initial reports indicate they are only about one foot higher than normal, according to local media accounts.

However, Hawaii officials had ordered an evacuation of Hawaii's coastal areas and warned waves of up to six feet.

No reports of widespread damage in Hawaii has been reported, although authorities cautioned it’s still too early to tell what the extent of damage will be.

Be aware that inundation effects could continue for several hours. Do not go near coastal areas, said the Honolulu Department of Emergency Management in a statement.