June 27, 2013

Tsunami hits New Jersey due to continental shift-slip - June 13, 2013

On June 13th, 2013, a tsunami struck the Jersey shore.

Not just that, a possible cause is being given: Continental Shift/Slip. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a tsunami struck the Jersey Shore earlier this month.

After hearing several reports from witnesses, NOAA officials confirmed on Monday that a tsunami had struck the area that day. “This event produced a tsunami that was recorded at tide gages monitored by the West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center (WCATWC),” they said. “The tsunami was observed at over 30 tide gages and one DART buoy throughout the Northwestern Atlantic Ocean.” Officials also say that the “slumping at the continental shelf east of New Jersey” may have played a role.

A first-hand description was provided by Brian Coen who observed the event at Barnegat Inlet in New Jersey: Around 3:30pm on Thursday June 13, 2013, Brian Coen was spear fishing near the mouth of Barnegat Inlet; just south of the submerged northern breakwater. Earlier in the day around noon, thunderstorms had moved through the area. By 3:30pm the weather was overcast with a light east wind. At approximately 3:30, the outgoing tide was amplified by strong currents which carried divers over the submerged breakwater (normally 3-4 feet deep). This strong outrush continued for 1-2 minutes and eventually the rocks in the submerged breakwater were exposed. Brian backed his boat out before being sucked over as well.

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.

 They continue to investigate.

 

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