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

March 11, 2011 | 10:13 am

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.

RELATED:

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

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