Hurricane creates rare extreme waves in California

A swimmer catches a wave at "The Wedge" wave break in Newport Beach, California 27 August 2014

Waves as high as 20ft (6m) in southern California have damaged waterfront homes, knocked out pier pilings and attracted scores of surfers.

The waves are the result of swells produced by Hurricane Marie in the Pacific, 800 miles (1,300km) west of Mexico's Baja California peninsula.

Dangerous wave conditions are expected to continue through Thursday despite a weakened storm.

One person has died while surfing on a beach in Malibu.

But it is unclear if the death was caused by the surf or a medical condition.

Despite the danger, thousands of spectators lined the Wedge, a popular surf spot in Newport Beach, to watch surfboarders take on the waves, town officials said.

The swells are the largest seen in southern California since a pair of hurricanes hit the Pacific within weeks of each other in 1997, National Weather Service weather specialist Stuart Ceto said.

A bogieboarder rides a wave at the wedge in Newport Beach, California 27 August 2014
A lifeguard watches swimmers at "The Wedge" wave break in Newport Beach, California August 27, 2014. Extra lifeguards were posted along The Wedge in Newport Beach
a bike rider makes his way through a flooded street after high tide and large waves caused heavy flooding in Seal Beach, California 26 August 2014 Some low-lying streets in the town of Seal Beach were flooded from the waves
A general view of the Malibu ocean and beach atmosphere during huge swells generated by hurricane Marie Reach on August 27, 2014 in Malibu, California The pier in Malibu has been closed amid broken pilings

More on This Story

More US & Canada stories



  • Mukesh SinghNo remorse

    Delhi bus rapist says victim shouldn't have fought back

  • Aimen DeanI spied

    The founder member of al-Qaeda who worked for MI6

  • Before and after shotsPerfect body

    Just how reliable are 'before and after' photos?

  • Lotus 97T driven by Elio de AngelisBeen and gone

    A champion F1 designer and other notable losses

  • A poster of Boris Nemtsov at a rally in St Petersburg, Russia, 1 MarchWho killed Nemtsov?

    Theories abound over murder that shocked Moscow

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.