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Tsunami warning: Crowds gather in Santa Monica to watch waves but don’t see much

More than 100 people gathered at Santa Monica Pier on Friday morning, eagerly hoping to glimpse some tsunami-like waves following Japan's 8.9 earthquake which prompted evacuations along the California coastline.

But the Santa Monica rubberneckers have mostly been disappointed. Gently crashing waves lapped along the shore and lifeguards in Jeeps motored along the sand in case of trouble.

Della Brown, 49, of Santa Monica took a detour from driving to work to check out the ocean after receiving calls from curious friends. She was thoroughly unimpressed by what she saw.

Photos: Scenes from Japan's earthquake and tsunami

"I think this is obviously a false alarm," she said. But if a real tsunami was coming, she wondered why people, including her, "are coming towards the water instead of running away. You can never be too sure what will happen."

Another onlooker, Eric Andrews, 50, grew up in Southern California and said the potential tsunami should be good practice for firefighters and emergency responders.

"It's a good test for them without all the risk," he said.


Waves in Santa Cruz jostle boats like ‘a major car collision’

Tsunami could help clear out dead fish in Redondo Beach

Long Beach warns people to evacuate the beaches

-- Nate Jackson in Santa Monica

Comments () | Archives (19)

I really can not understand way in the hell some people would be foolish enough as to go to the beach and look for Tsunami Waves. I guess people just dont have common sense anymore. Warning or not, stay away from the beaches.

OK, is it me or when you are told that there is a possibility of danger in doing something, why do some people immediately do it? Is massive stupidity the hallmark of this decade or just the myth of invulnerability?
I have a friend who always mumbles "darwin was right" as she passes a runner crossing against the light on Wilshire.
Her assumption is that eventually one of the cars will indeed hit him. The people in the article were 49 & 50 so you can't blame it all on the kids. They told you to stay away from the beaches, try listening next time.

Warning or no warning.
High technology or not.
People do stupid things.
It is human nature.
That killed the beast.

It is just amazing to have read that people were going towards the beaches to see the Tsunami!! It's not like it's a first time event where no one is the wiser...and I would bet that these are the same people who would sue the city for not having road blocks and allowed them to get to the beaches!! Not taking responsibility for their own actions.

Why the heck would people go see Tsunami wave. I mean you don't understand a warning, even if it didn't happen you shouldn't still have went. Cause in the possibility that it did happen you have a 50-50 chance of making it out alive. The reason why is because once people start seeing a Tsunami they are gonna run and then people will start getting trampled over an they might get hit with the Tsunami wave. So next time think twice before you do thing's stupid.

And even before the 8.9 magnitude earthquake, there had been an massive die off of millions upon millions of fish in Redondo Beach.

Some have said that it was due to lack of oxygen.

Now it has become clear that these now dead fish were frightened by what was to take place in the near future even as their nervous systems sensed the danger or those first seismic rumblings.

Are they dissapointed??? So what is exactly what they want to see? A big destructive wave coming at them sweeping away people, houses and cars? What is wrong with these people, my impression of stupidity in human race is endless. They should be thankful that there is not much to worry about. We are in a safe spot, as of right now, because remeber, we live in a highly sismic area, and we never know if we are going to be strike with the big one at any moment. But I guess if that was to happen these morons would be happy.

That tsunami was a bust - I was there and I honestly didn't notice it.
I'll have to review my video tape but there was no wave that appeared to a be big one.
The waves got slightly bigger for a few minutes but nothing out the ordinary and if you weren't informed that a tsunami was coming you would have never known.

If I didn't notice it can I still brag that I saw a tsunami?

All I have to say is, why would anyone want to run to Santa Monica if there was some type of Tsunami warning? What if it ended up being something serious? Shows just the stupidity of some of us that live in LA.

The fact that people are flocking to the shore to "witness" the tsunami display how ignorant these people are from the real dangers of tsunami. Do people think all of these real life disasters are jokes? It's truly harrowing how much common sense some of these people lack.

You've gotta wonder what goes through some people's minds. =/

Oh, come on, is not like people were standing watching the tsunami in the coast of Japan. This is across a third of the globe, nothing wrong with watching a tide raise.

I live a couple of blocks from the beach so I'm glad the tsunami didn't take me away in my sleep.

Wow, everyone is so quick to judge. Yes, it may be foolish...or those people could have read the reports from geological and marine institutes like I did and found out the expected increase in wave size was topping out at an increase of 1-2 feet.

Much like the tsunami warning a couple years ago that increased the tides a total of 1-2". Oceanographic scientists have the capability of predicting these events by monitoring equipment in place at various locations when there is advanced notice....like today.

So, although it may not be the best idea to run to the beach during a tsunami warning, perhaps energy judging others would be better spent doing something else.

""I think this is obviously a false alarm," she said. But if a real tsunami was coming, she wondered why people, including her, "are coming towards the water instead of running away. You can never be too sure what will happen."

Because they are STUPID

The media hyped it up and the government wants to cover their butts. Anybody with a brain knows that the tsunamis in Southern California were not going to be that great.

Having said that, water did recede and then return to normal up and down the California coast. There were neat little whirlpools and clouds of dirt in the water which outlined the stronger than normal currents in Ventura.

In Santa Monica, there is a 100+ foot cliff to look out from, perfectly safe.

I agree with you skylua.... obviously these people do not know how to follow instructions and are the ones who endanger the lifeguards lives to save them when trouble came.

David is correct. I was there this morning, and while there were some people down on the sandy beach, the "crowds" that this article refers to were gathered on a series of bluffs a thousand feet back and fifty feet up from the water's edge.


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