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Weekly Wrap-Up: Hurricanes Churn Dangerous Atlantic and Pacific Surf

By Michael Kuhne, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
August 31, 2014; 6:51 AM ET
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Large, powerful waves crashed against the sandy shorelines of the East and West coasts this week, stirred by the onset of two hurricanes.

The churning force of Marie in the eastern Pacific and Cristobal in the Atlantic propagated large, chaotic swells that lead to dangerous rip currents and surf.

Waves as high as 20 feet slammed into the shorelines of Southern California as Marie continued along its path near the coasts of Mexico and California. In the Atlantic, Cristobal brought dangerous rip currents from Virginia to New England.

Despite the lethal dangers of the stirred seas, experienced and novice surfers made their way into the waters to ride the massive, storm-driven waves.

Los Angeles County Lifeguards reported Wednesday that they had made an estimated 30 to 45 personal watercraft rescues in Malibu alone and more than a dozen swim rescues. One man was killed Tuesday.

"While seas will not be as high and dangerous as recent days, the rip current threat will remain higher than normal through the weekend," AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said, referring to the coastlines of Southern California.

On Tuesday, the Ocean City, Maryland, Beach Patrol performed more than 150 rescues, according to CBS Baltimore. One man drowned near Ocean City's Inlet.

Surfers flocked to Newport Beach to catch waves as high as 20 feet resulting from Hurricane Marie. (Photo/Kevin Anderson, Instagram user misterandersons)

"The East Coast had improving surf conditions at the start of the Labor Day weekend," Pydynowski said. "However, we could see seas get stirred up some again along the mid-Atlantic and Northeast beaches with a moderate rip current threat for a time Sunday through early Monday."

Another disturbance that was being monitored for tropical development brought downpours to coastal Texas and rough surf to the western Gulf Coast late in the week.

Hurricane Marie (Photo/NASA/ Reid Wiseman/ ISS)

Beachgoers should continue to use caution through the holiday weekend along the western Gulf Coast as onshore winds will keep the rip current threat elevated.

The next area of concern in the tropical Atlantic is a tropical wave set to move from the Caribbean to the Bay of Campeche through early next week.

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While the U.S. witnessed dangerous surf, and flooding downpours in portions of Texas late this week, heavy rain contributed to a deadly landslide in China, and an earthquake sparked the volcanic eruption of the Bardarbunga volcano.

In China, a landslide claimed more than a dozen lives and flattened much of a small town in Guizhou province Wednesday night.

Recent rains likely triggered the landslide which destroyed 77 homes in the village of Yingping.

Drier weather is then expected from Sunday into early next week in the region.

In Iceland, the Bardarbunga volcano erupted, resulting in a temporary no-fly order.

The eruption started in Holuhraun, north of Dyngjujökull, which is located in northern Vatnajökull, just after midnight Friday, local time, the Icelandic Meteorological Office said.

No volcanic ash had been detected with the radar system in the area, they stated. A few hours after the eruption, reports list the airborne ash particles are minimal.

Several AccuWeather.com Staff Writers contributed to this article

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