Video shows gigantic wave smash into California beachgoers


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A new video shows a huge wave hitting beachgoers observing the water on Ventura Beach as high waves continue to batter the California coast.

The swell hit a sea wall at the end of Seaward Avenue as seen in a video posted on X, formerly Twitter, by the Ventura County Fire Department (VCFD). The enormous wave breaches the top of the sea wall as onlookers attempt to flee. Some are swept backward toward the sea wall as the wave pulls in. The force is so strong that a car parked near the wall is pushed away from the shoreline.

Residents of Northern California faced evacuation orders and warnings on Thursday as the Golden State experiences a rash of coastal flooding.

Huge wave California
People flee a huge wave in Ventura County, California. The footage posted on Thursday shows several people running as the enormous wave breaches the sea wall.
Ventura County Fire Department

Eight people were treated in hospital for injuries sustained by the exceptionally high waves along the California coast on Thursday. It is unclear at this time if the people in the video are among those who required treatment. In a separate post on X, the VCFD wrote: “Multiple rescues have been made. Numerous areas have been flooded and resulted in injuries.”

Police commander Ryan Weeks said around 15 to 20 onlookers were briefly swept away after a large wave breached a beach barrier in Ventura, per CNN. Newsweek has contacted the Ventura County Fire Department for comment via email.

The California Highway Patrol in Santa Cruz issued a warning about coastal flooding at the Rio Del Mar Esplanade, advising individuals to steer clear of the area. “Rio Del Mar Esplanade is currently flooded. Please avoid the area and do not attempt to drive across flooded areas. Road closures are in effect, so please do not drive around them. Drive with caution and prioritize safety,” it wrote on X.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Los Angeles also warned of high waves, rip currents and coastal flooding on Thursday. In Ventura County, the weather agency warned of 10 to 15 foot waves hitting the shores and urged people to stay away from the water. Other parts of the California shoreline, including Central Coast, Santa Barbara South Coast and LA County Coast, were also warned of dangerous conditions.

The NWS has said that similar conditions are likely on Saturday, December 30. In a warning issued at 3 a.m. local time on Thursday, the agency wrote that “the most dangerous conditions along the Central Coast, the Ventura County Coast, Hermosa/Manhattan/Palos Verdes Beaches, and near Point Conception.”

In Ventura Beach, the VCFD reported that it has been working to clear flooded areas. The department said flooding has caused damage to homes close to the shore.

Residents have reported never seeing such high waves in the area until Thursday. “The waves were big,” Ventura resident Brian Scott told KABC. “I mean, I’m a water guy. I sail, scuba dive. These were 15-plus foot waves this morning at high tide. Never seen that. We’ve been here for 10 years.”

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Video shows gigantic wave smash into California beachgoers

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