Tsunami leaves Seal Beach virtually unharmed

Some parts of state see flooding

A helicopter flies over Huntington Beach, warning people to leave the beach and ocean due to warning of high surf due to tsunami. Photo by Katie Meehan

An underwater volcanic eruption near the island nation of Tonga, created a tsunami warning that reached the California coast. The warning for local beaches was for potential high or dangerous surf. Social media posts showed some flooding in areas such as Santa Cruz, but the local beaches, including Seal Beach, were virtually untouched.

Seal Beach Police confirmed that there were no reports of damage of incidents in Seal Beach due to the high surf. In Huntington Beach, the reports were similar. Sun News employee Katie Meehan was riding her bike in Huntington Beach at the time the warning went out. Despite some confusion and concern as people exited the beach, the HB coast was spared any significant impact.

The following is Meehan’s report:

I was riding my bike to a dentist appointment when I heard the warning on my phone and thought it must be a mistake. However as I rode Southbound on Bolsa Chica bike path and noticed almost no surfers – usually pretty active on a Saturday – and there were more wanderers looking out to the Pacific Ocean. I stopped to talk to a couple local surfers who felt that the ocean felt a bit odd, not a great day for surfing – and they had heard of the warning overhead by the helicopters and trucks on the beach, so decided to leave for the day.

Karolina Schick and Mario Hoyos, of Las Vegas, stopped atop Dog Beach in Huntington Beach to see any potential high surf due to the tsunami warning. Photo by Katie Meehan

A couple, Karolina Schick and Mario Hoyos, from Las Vegas were visiting and walking their dog. After hearing the warning on their phones, they decided to walk over on the boardwalk above Dog Beach to see what was happening. Near the waves on Dog Beach, it was virtually empty at 8 a.m., maybe 3-4 people, others stayed on the bike path, along with many other on-lookers, until more information was available.

The warning was reported to last until about noon, and most were curious but seemed mostly casual about the event, or non-event at Huntington Beach.