As tsunami waves began to hit Northern California this morning, with some as high as 5 feet expected, hundreds of people in San Mateo County headed for higher ground and caused major traffic jams.

The National Weather Service issued a tsunami warning for much of California's coast following the massive 8.9 earthquake that struck off Japan's northeastern coast earlier today. The death toll has reached between 200 and 300 people and is expected to grow.

In Northern California, waves could reach as high as 5.3 feet, according to the weather service. The latest forecast projects waves of 5.3 feet to hit the coastline at Rio Del Mar, 4.2 feet in Pacifica and 3.3 feet in Santa Cruz.


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