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Scientists Studying Unusual Tsunami-Like Wave That Hit South Jersey Coastline

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(The southern jetty of Barnegat Inlet, with Barnegat Lighthouse in the background.  File photo)

(The southern jetty of Barnegat Inlet, with Barnegat Lighthouse in the background. File photo)

wing_dan DL Dan Wing
 Dan Wing is a news anchor and reporter for KYW Newsradio...
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By Dan Wing

BARNEGAT LIGHT, N.J. (CBS) — There was a bit of a freak occurence at the South Jersey shore earlier this month when a six-foot-high, tsunami-like wave came crashing into Barnegat Inlet, at the north end of Long Beach Island, and nearby coastal areas.

At least three people were dragged into the water by the receding wave, two of whom required medical attention.

So what caused this phenomenon?   Scientists are still trying to figure that out.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the unusual occurrence happened on the afternoon of June 13th, as that “derecho” storm moved through the area.

But Mike Angoves, the tsunami program manager for NOAA, isn’t so sure that the storm is what caused it.

“Whatever it was, it was an unusual event,” he tells KYW Newsradio.  “I will say that we can’t just chalk it up to bad weather moving across that region — the measurements we saw were just too large for that.  So exactly what happened we’re not sure of yet, but we’re going to try to find out.”

Angoves says scientists want to find out what caused the tsunami so they can put warning systems in place for residents in the future.

 

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