December 25, 2017
Tsunami Hit East Coast In June, Says NOAA

A rare tsunami hit the east coast earlier this month according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

NOAA reports that a six-foot wave hit New Jersey on June 13. The organization said that the cause of the wave was "complex and under review."

The West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center writes: "The event occurred in close conjunction with a weather system labeled by the National Weather Service as a low-end derecho... It is also possible that the slumping at the continental shelf east of New Jersey played a role."

Brian Coen, a local spear fisher, observed the effects of the tsunami firsthand.

Coen told the organization that rocks normally three or four deep were exposed when a strong outrush of water emptied the Barnegat Inlet. Coen than observed a wave about 6 feet tall crash into the Jersey Coast.

The West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center writes: "Brian noticed a large wave coming in, approximately 6 feet peak-to-trough and spanning across the inlet. The upper 2 feet of the wave was breaking. This wave occurred in conjunction with a reversal of the current such that even though the tide was going out, a strong surge was entering the inlet. This surge carried the divers back over the submerged reef and into the inlet from where they were picked up. On the south jetty three people were swept off the rocks."

Mike Angove, head of NOAA's tsunami program, said that the organization was still looking into the cause of the tsunami. Angove said that it could have been a rare meteotsunami, which is a tsunami caused by weather, or it may have been caused by a landslide off the continental shelf.