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West Hawaii beaches closed amid high surf warning

March 2, 2014 - 7:56pm

The Hawaii County Civil Defense reports several West Hawaii beaches are closed amid a high surf warning for Hawaii Island’s west-facing shores that remains in effect until 6 a.m. Monday.

Kahaluu, Laaloa (also known as Magic Sands) and Hapuna are currently closed because of the high surf, according to Civil Defense officials.

A strong low far northwest of the state has generated a large west-northwest swell that will produce dangerous surf along exposed shores of the Kona and Kohala coasts, according to National Weather Service forecasters.

The service forecast waves ranging in height from 10 to 15 feet along west-facing shores.

The service categorized the surf’s impact as “very high.”

The public is advised to expect ocean water surging and sweeping across beaches, coastal benches and lava flows creating the potential for damage to coastal property and infrastructure, including roadways. Powerful longshore and rip currents will be present at most beaches. Large breaking waves and strong currents may impact harbor entrances and channels.

The service cautioned that only highly experienced people should enter the water because of large breaking surf and dangerous currents. The public is advised to heed all advice given by ocean safety officials.