City officials suspended cleanup efforts Friday to remove dead sardines in King Harbor Marina because of 15-mph water surges from the tsunami generated by the 8.9-magnitude earthquake that rocked Japan.
The surging water throughout the harbor made conditions unsafe for netting the fish, and volunteers who had been standing by to help were sent home at about 2 p.m.
While the volunteers headed home, city workers geared up to continue removing the fish from a corner of the harbor where the current wasn't strong.
"We're resuming the cleanup in full force with city workers from Redondo," said police Sgt. Phil Keenan, adding that city workers from Gardena and Hawthorne were also helping.
Since about 9:50 a.m., the inflow and outflow of current in the harbor redistributed the fish and made for conditions too dangerous for divers or boats to operate in the water, Keenan said.
The surging water has not caused any damage to the harbor or the vessels in the harbor, authorities said.
Mayor Mike Gin, who expressed gratitude for the volunteers who remained on standby while the cleanup effort was on hold, said, “Safety for anyone involved in the recovery effort is our primary concern.”
Elsewhere along the Redondo Beach coastline, the beaches were open, but authorities advised people to stay off the beaches in case the waves grew.
It was feared that the massive earthquake that hit Japan could send high tides, waves and currents to the Southern California coastline, including here in Redondo Beach. The quake unleashed a 10-meter-high tsunami that destroyed buildings and sent ships crashing into the shoreline.
The tsunami advisory remains in effect. Currents could still become hazardous to swimmers, surfers and boats, according to the National Weather Service.