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Scientists: Tsunami May Have Hit East Coast Earlier in June

(Image Courtesy: MGN Online)

(Image Courtesy: MGN Online)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A storm that blew through earlier this month might have spurred a rare phenomenon for the East Coast: a tsunami.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says tsunami-like conditions were observed June 13 at more than 30 tide gages along the East Coast, Bermuda and Puerto Rico. The highest peak amplitude was recorded in Newport, R.I, where it reached just under a foot above sea level.

Mike Angove, head of NOAA’s tsunami program, says scientists are still trying to determine what caused it, but that it behaved like a tsunami rather than storm surge.

He says it could have been a rare meteotsunami (MEE’-tee-oh tsoo-NAHM’-ee), which is a tsunami caused by weather. Or it could have been caused by a landslide off the continental shelf, which is less rare but still uncommon.

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