SoCal Tsunami Watchers, Surfers Let Down By Anticlimactic Size of Waves
"Massive crowd at pier. Surfers and boats in water. LAPD copter telling people to move to no avail."
Hordes of curious rubberneckers rushed the Southern California coast this morning after 8 a.m. to witness their very own close-to-home aftermath of the 8.9 Japan catastrophe. (And what a catastrophe it was. For full coverage, see Time or CNN or #tsunami.)
But after watching walls of water take out entire villages on the news all night, our own wave action was looking damn wimpy in the morning light.
Tsunami watchers at Seal Beach told KNX news radio that waves actually looked smaller than usual...
... sounding almost annoyed at the lack of excitement off the Pacific coast.
"I don't see anything," said one dude. "Looks like an average day on the beach."
Not to fear, you insensitive bastards: Stronger waves are supposed to hit over the next couple hours, even reaching three feet, according to new reports. Woohoo.
Plus, it's worse than it looks, insisted an L.A. coastguard officer to KNX:
"We're not going to see the big, movie-type waves coming through. ... But underneath the surface of the water, there are lots of dangerous things going on."
Hundreds crowded the parking lot at Venice Pier this morning to watch the impending tsunami. Radio stations and news agencies were interviewing people as many gazed upon surfers and boaters waiting for the incoming wave... but it never came. Lifeguards were on hand with a small rescue raft, L.A. City Fire station 63 had an engine and a ladder truck and LAPD had many patrol cars and a chopper. The coast guard chopper was circling and they had many boats in the water also. Several surfers were running out to catch the big one... either way it was a beautiful morning to be out and paddling around. The pier will re-open later this morning.
Looks like NorCal got most of the action: 35 boats have been crushed in Crescent City, and Santa Cruz surfers bragged about conquering seven-foot swells.
See "Japan 8.9: Tsunami Watch For SoCal" for live LA Weekly updates on the (totally anticlimactic) SoCal tsunami watch.
Some voices of reason amid the overprivileged whine:
Update: Seismologist Lucy Jones with the U.S. Geological Survey at Caltech tells City News Service more and bigger waves are expected over the next few hours -- especially through high tide and into the afternoon.
But uh, don't hold your breath.
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