Beachgoers smashed by two metre 'mini-tsunami'

A mini-tsunami has struck the Netherlands.

A seven-foot tidal wave was captured on video as it hit the country’s North Sea coast, shocking beachgoers.

The event is so rare, local media reported that it is the first time it has been so well-filmed and documented.

The wave struck the resort of Zandvoort.

Footage shows the wave striking on Monday morning and sweeping away beach chairs, boats and parasols.

One stunned holiday maker was heard to scream 'tsunami' as the wave washed up. Photo: Supplied
One stunned holiday maker was heard to scream 'tsunami' as the wave washed up. Photo: Supplied

The man filming is heard saying “a tsunami!” multiple times in disbelief at what he is watching.

In another video filmed from a sailing club in the seaside resort of Katwijk the sea is clearly seen retreating first, after which a big wave crashes ashore with lightning flashing in the background.

No one was injured, although there was some damage.

The unique phenomenon is called a meteotsunami, or meteorological tsunami, according to Jacco Kromkamp of the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ).

Kromkamp explained that a meteotsunami is generated when rapid changes in barometric pressure cause the displacement of a body of water.

It often emerges as the forerunner of a thunderstorm front and corresponds essentially to a cold front.

Kromkamp explained that meteotsunamis are more frequent in the spring when the North Sea water is still cold.

The last recorded meteotsunamis in the Netherlands occurred in 2004 and 2006.

Meteotsunamis have also been recorded in the United Kingdom. The first ever officially identified British meteotsunami hit the Cornish coastline in June 2011.

Tsunamis have struck with devastating affect in recent years.

In 2004, the Indian Ocean earthquake killed some 230,000 people, the deadliest on record.

And in 2011, a tsunami off the coast of Japan killed more 18,000 people and threatened a nuclear catastrophe at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

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