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  • Tsunami alert efficiency in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea: The 2 May 2020 Earthquake (Mw6.6) and near-field tsunami south of Crete (Greece)
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Tsunami alert efficiency in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea: The 2 May 2020 Earthquake (Mw6.6) and near-field tsunami south of Crete (Greece)

Source(s):  GeoHazards
Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)

The Mediterranean tsunami warning system is based on national monitoring centers (Tsunami Service Providers, TSPs) and operates under the IOC/UNESCO umbrella. For the first time, we evaluate in-depth the system’s performance for improving its operational effectiveness in conditions of extremely narrow time frames due to the near-field tsunami sources. At time 10 (± 2) min from the origin time, to, of the 2 May 2020 (Mw6.6) earthquake in Crete, the Greek, Italian and Turkish TSPs sent alerts to civil protection subscribers. A small tsunami (amplitude ~16 cm a.m.s.l.) of magnitude Mt6.8, arriving at south Crete in ~17 min from to, was documented from tide-gauge records and macroscopic observations. The analysis of the upstream alert messages showed that the tsunami alert efficiency is not adequate, since (1) earthquake parameters of low accuracy were used for the initial message, (2) alerts were issued after some forecasted wave arrival times had expired, (3) alert messages are characterized by various discrepancies and uncertainties. Our calculations showed that the upstream component improves if the alert time is shortened by a few minutes and the initial earthquake parameters are more accurate. Very late procedures were noted in the Greek civil protection downstream component, thus rendering response actions useless. In Israel, a bit more time was available to the authorities for decision making. A drastic improvement of the downstream component is needed to achieve timely alerting for local authorities and communities.



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  • Tsunami alert efficiency in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea: The 2 May 2020 Earthquake (Mw6.6) and near-field tsunami south of Crete (Greece)
  • Publication date 2020
  • Author(s) Papadopoulos, Gerassimos A.; Lekkas, Efthymios; Katsetsiadou, Katerina-Navsika; Rovythakis, Emmanouil; Yahav, Amir
  • Number of pages 44 - 60 pp.
  • ISBN/ISSN https://doi.org/10.3390/geohazards1010005

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