Author(s): Harriet Reuter Hapgood

21 minutes to evacuate: Experts predict Mediterranean tsunami with 100% probability

Source(s): Euronews
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The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC) is warning with 100 per cent certainty that a tsunami measuring over one metre will hit the Mediterranean in the next 30 years.


"What is extremely hazardous is not only the altitude of the tsunamis but the flows and fluxes of the water - and the flooding, which can cause damage to beaches, harbours and streets. If it's a small harbour and the waterfront is very low, a tsunami could be more treacherous."


A Mediterranean tsunami would arrive in as little as 21 minutes

Pascal Roudil, technical coordinator at the CENALT, told Euronews Green earlier this year: "Tsunamis can arrive quite quickly." An earthquake off the Málaga coast would trigger a tsunami hitting the shore in 21 to 35 minutes.


What plans are in place for European natural disasters such as tsunamis?

France already has a red-alert plan in place for the first 15 minutes after a tsunami, with its CENALT set up in 2012.

In 2022, UNESCO undertook a mission to the Aeolian Islands, off the coast of Sicily, to investigate the risk from its underwater volcanoes. These could cause catastrophic tsunamis, says volcanologist Francesco Italiano of the Italian Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia.

In Spain, the State Plan for Civil Protection against the Risk of Tsunamis has an early-warning system to identify underwater earthquakes and a plan for authorities to coordinate responses to keep the public safe.


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Hazards Tsunami
Country and region Europe
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