A devastating Tsunami every century in the Mediterranean
Tsunamis can occur in European waters due to earthquakes caused by the African Plate drifting northwards underneath the Eurasian Plate. The Mediterranean Sea is considered vulnerable to tsunamis not only because the area is seismically active, but also because coastal ports are very close to high-risk tsunami epicenters. An earthquake in the Mediterranean could trigger a tsunami that could reach Cyprus within an hour, giving very little time to evacuate and shut down industrial buildings such as power plants and chemical factories. According to Dr.
Georgious Georgiou, director of the Oceanography Centre of Cyprus.
To reinforce the facts above, a 6.7 Mag earthquake occurred on 20th July 2017 north of the Island of Kos which
resulted in a tsumami which caused considerable damage to the north coast of the Island, wrecking the harbour and
relocating boats which had been in the harbour far inland see links below for more info..
TWERC expansion of the CYCOFOS observatory. Mediterranean Quakes over 4.5 mag
The buoy-powered ocean observatory that has been operating off the southern coast of Cyprus for a
number of years has now undergone an extensive expansion and the prototype Tsunami Warning and Early Response System for Cyprus (TWERC) is now in operation. The CYCOFOS observatory
incorporates two MCS OceanNET™ surface buoys to provide electrical power and satellite
telemetry for transmitting data to shore. The TWERC expansion connects the surface buoy with a CSnet Offshore Communications Backbone. Seafloor nodes (OceanWorks) join each leg of the array that are laid adjacent to the Eratosthenes Seamount. With continuous power and two-way broadband communications, TWERC is being used as a test bed to evaluate a number of different tsunami
detection techniques. Initially both Ocean Bottom Seismometers (OBS - GURALP) and Bottom Pressure Recorders (BPR - Sonardyne) will be deployed at each node. Future plans include
incorporation of a high-resolution, low-light level imaging system (SIDUS) at the protected deep
water coral habitat at the base of the seamount. CYCOFOS and TWERC are operated by the
Oceanography Centre of the University of Cyprus, a member of the IOC NEAMTWS
(North Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Tsunami Warning System).The location of the Buoys
are at the following co-ordinates. 33.41.9 N - 032.08.01E and 33.33.54N - 31.54.99E
Live heliplots from the undersea sensors
* Ten percent of all tsunamis worldwide occur in the Mediterranean.
* On average, one disastrous tsunami takes place in the Mediterranean region every century.
* Historical records report of many powerful tsunamis that have taken the lives of thousands over the ages.
Developing Tsunami early warning system Preparing for tsunami's in the Mediterranean
Earthquakes in Cyprus Documentary Scientists work on Med Tsunami alert system
Mediterranean TSUNAMI would threaten 130 MILLION and leave large areas underwater.
Daily Express 28th August 2015
A TSUNAMI in the Mediterranean would affect 130 million people and wipe out huge swathes of coastal holiday destinations, new research has suggested.
Scientists developed a model to simulate the effects of the phenomena and found that a large tsunami, which occurs on average once a century in the Med, would leave 3.5 sq km of Crete under water. Southern Italy and Greece would be flooded and the whole region, including North Africa and Turkey, would be vulnerable to the giant waves caused by earthquakes.
The study published in the Ocean Science journal explained that risk to human life in Mediterranean coastal areas would be high because of the high population density. In addition, tsunami waves in the Mediterranean would need to travel a very short distance before hitting the coast, giving unsuspecting coastal dwellers little advance warning.
Though not as frequent as in the Pacific and Indian oceans, around 10% of tsunamis occur in the Mediterranean, mainly due to earthquakes generated when the African plate slides underneath the Eurasian plate.
The area has form for devastation caused by the huge waves.
In 365 AD a tsunami was generated by a clustering of earthquakes off the coast of Crete, the largest of which had a magnitude between 8.0 and 8.5. The tsunami destroyed ancient cities in Greece, Italy and Egypt, killing some 5000 people in Alexandria alone.
More recently in 1908 an earthquake of magnitude of about 7.0 hit the Messina region in Italy causing a tsunami that killed thousands, with waves exceeding 10 metres in height.
Study lead author Doctor Achilleas Samaras, a researcher at the University of Bologna in Italy, said: "We wanted to find out how coastal areas would be affected by tsunamis in a region that is not only the most active in the Mediterranean in terms of seismicity and tectonic movements, but has also experienced numerous tsunami events in the past." In their bid to discover the impact of another gigantic tsunami, the team developed a computer model to represent how tsunamis in the Med would hit the coast using information about the seafloor depth, shoreline and topography.
They then applied their model to tsunamis generated by earthquakes of approximately 7.0 magnitude off the coasts of eastern Sicily and southern Crete. In both cases, the tsunamis would inundate the low-lying coastal areas up to approximately 5 metres above sea level. Thankfully this indication of destruction is just a simulation and the researchers hope that the results will help governments to identify and protect vulnerable areas. Dr Samaras said: "The main gap in relevant knowledge in tsunami modelling is what happens when tsunami waves approach the near shore and run inland.
"The nearshore is the zone where waves transform - becoming steeper and changing their propagation direction - as they propagate over shallow water close to the shore. "We simulate tsunami generation by introducing earthquake-generated displacements at either the sea bed or the surface. "The model then simulates how these disturbances - the tsunami waves - propagate and are transformed as they reach the nearshore and inundate coastal areas."
"Although the simulated earthquake-induced tsunamis are not small, there has been a recorded history of significantly larger events, in terms of earthquake magnitude and mainshock areas, taking place in the region."
Dr Samaras also warns that an even larger earthquake could result in significantly more damage. He added: "Due to the complexity of the studied phenomena, one should not arbitrarily extend the validity of the presented results by assuming that a tsunami with a magnitude at generation five times larger, for example, would result in an inundation area five times larger, it is reasonable, however, to consider such results as indicative of how different areas in each region would be affected by larger events.
"Our simulations could be used to help public authorities and policy makers create a comprehensive database of tsunami scenarios in the Mediterranean, identify vulnerable coastal regions for each scenario, and properly plan their defence."
Massive Tsunami in Mediterranean in 6000BC
Scientists discover evidence of huge tsunamis hitting Malta - and they could hit again.