Earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, superstorms, and now, tsunamis?

Thomas Northcut, Getty Images

Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are trying to determine whether or not a tsunami hit the east coast of the U.S. affecting Barnegat Inlet, near Long Beach Island. It happened earlier this month.

Should this be the kind of thing we should worry about?

The wave swept three people off the south jetty on June 13th and at least two required medical treatment. The jetty rocks are about 5 to 6 feet above sea level.

Thunderstorms had rolled through earlier in the day around noon, and NOAA says that a low-end derecho moved from east to west across the Jersey Shore shortly before the tsunami occurred. A derecho is a straight-line windstorm associated with a fast-moving band of severe thunderstorms.

The National Weather Service is not sure what the cause is, saying in a news release:

"The source is complex and still under review, though the coincidence at several gauges with strong atmospheric pressure fluctuations indicate it is at least partly generated by meteorological causes."

"NOAA scientists will have their work cut out for them," according to Alexander Gates, a professor at Rutgers University. "It's very difficult to determine what kind of waves happened in an area nearly two weeks ago. It could be several weeks before they have a clear answer."

Locals we spoke to tell us they aren't concerned.

"We have dealt with so much already with Sandy and stuff, this is nothing to worry about," one local marina owner said. "It's Mother Nature and she's gonna do what she wants to do."