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High surf warning prompts W. Hawaii beach closures

January 23, 2014 - 5:28pm

Several West Hawaii beaches are closed because of high surf along west-facing shores. A high surf warning remains in effect through 6 a.m. Friday, according to the National Weather Service in Honolulu.

Hapuna Beach, Kahaluu Beach, Laaloa, also known as Magic Sands Beach, and Kekahakai State Park, including the Kua Bay section, are closed today because of high surf, according to the Hawaii County Civil Defense.

Forecasters called for 10 to 15 feet waves along Hawaii Island’s west-facing shores, according to the service.

The service categorized the surf’s impact as “extreme,” warning of giant breaking waves and strong currents that will make it dangerous to approach the shoreline as well as harbor entrances. Forecasters also warned that significant coastal inundation may occur, possibly resulting in property damage.

Along the island’s north-facing shores, an area spanning from about Mahukona in North Kohala to Kaimu Beach Park in Puna, forecasters called for surf ranging in height from 12 to 18 feet.

The service categorized the surf’s impact along north- and east- facing shores as “moderate” and advise the public to expect strong breaking waves and strong rip currents that can make swimming dangerous and heed all advice given by ocean safety officials.

Beachgoers, swimmers and surfers should heed all advice given by ocean safety officials and exercise extreme caution.

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