Rare tsunami may have hit Jersey coast during June derecho, NOAA says

By KATE STANTON, UPI.com   |   June 25, 2013 at 6:10 PM

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Tuesday that tsunami-like waves hit the southern New Jersey coast during a June 13 derecho. Though the source of the storm is "complex and still under review," authorities believe that slumping at the continental shelf east of New Jersey could have contributed to the event.

NOAA pointed to the first-hand account of Brian Coen, who was fishing at New Jersey's Barnegat Inlet at around 3:30 p.m.

At this point, 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 which were 5 to 6 feet above sea level at the time. At least two were injured requiring medical treatment. There was no more strong activity after about 5 minutes.

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