North Coast police departments and fire stations were deluged with phone calls Thursday after an earthquake hit the Hokkaido, Japan, region at about 12:50 p.m. Pacific Time.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday evening that no tsunami danger existed for Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon or California. It did warn that some coastal areas might experience sea level changes or sudden surges of water.

Initially the reports were that the quake was of a larger magnitude and the West Coast was on alert for possible tsunamis.

Seaside Fire Marshal Chris Dugan reported "answering lots of questions and putting people at ease." If the fire department received information that indicated evacuation was necessary, they would sound the tsunami siren, a six-minutes series of three high tones, each followed by a period of silence.

Al Aya Jr., the director of the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District said that "sneaker waves" or sudden surges of water were a possibility. Cannon Beach Police kept an eye on the beaches and warned people about possible surge danger.

Gearhart Fire Chief Bill Eddy said that normal patrols watched for any danger.

"Fortunately, at this time of year, not too many people are on the beach late at 10:30 at night," he said.


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