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Mega Tsunami - Massive Tidal Wave - Extinction Level Event

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What is a Mega Tsunami?

A Tsunami is one or a series of waves that occur after an earthquake, seaquake, volcanic activity, slumps, or asteroid impacts in or near the sea. A mega tsunami is simply a larger occurance of the phenomena. The energy of a tsunami is constant, a function of its height and speed. Thus, as the wave approaches land, its height increases while its speed decreases. The waves travel at high speed, more or less unnoticed where crossing deep water, but can increase to a height of 30 metres and more as they approach the coastline. Tsunamis can cause severe destruction on coasts and islands.

mega tsunami mega-tsunami giant tidal wave

Though tsunamis rarely go above 0.5 m in height, the spaces between the crests can be hundreds of kilometers allowing the wave to increase in height within the last 10-20m of water before reaching the shore.  Without the loss of energy, this allows the wave to go ashore making a storm surge seem laughable.  These waves are capable of crossing an ocean, toppling large buildings none of which could withstand the force of the wave, equivalent to the speed of a commercial airplane, nor the extreme flooding.

When was the biggest tsunami?

The biggest recorded tsunami was produced by the Great Kamchatka Earthquake of 17 October 1737. Its peak reached more than 50 m above sea level on the North Kurile Islands. The Kamchatka Peninsula has the greatest frequency of tsunami, about one event every 12 years. The largest death toll recorded for a tsunami was over 50,000 people on the island of Taiwan on 22 May 1782, followed by 36,417 deaths caused by tsunami associated with the eruption of Krakatau in the Sunda Straits of Indonesia on 27 August 1883. There are probably larger death tolls, but there is no way to be positive.

Where could the next Mega Tsunami come from

A volcano named Cumbre Vieja on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands of North Africa is where geologists suspect the next tsunami could begin.  The reason for the concern...  In 1949 during a volcanic eruption part of the island slid into the ocean before ending its descent.  Should another large eruption of the Cumbre Vieja occur, the western side of the island is likely to collapse into the Atlantic.

Predicting the next eruption isn't a likely happening; geologists cannot say whether or not the next eruption will be the one to make the island shed its western shore.  Until then, we have to watch and wait.

500 billion tons of rock creating five thousand trillion, (that's fifteen zeros), joules of kinetic energy, that is transferred and converted to a 600 to a thousand meter tall wave with excessive speeds.  Ten minutes and it will have traveled 250 kilometers, all the while powered by the underwater landslide.

Immense Destruction

Generated by an earthquake in Arica, Chile in 1877, a tsunami measured at 1.07m, the largest on the Sydney (Australia) tidal gauge, In May 1960 another one measured less than 0.8m amounted to a 4.5m run up above sea level that traveled along parts of the coast line.  The amount of destruction caused by the inevitable Canary Island tsunami would dwarf these numbers by far, causing massive devastation to all shoreline cities, rivers and inland bodies of water connected to the ocean at the point of impact. 

megatsunami mega tsunami mega-tsunami giant tidal wave

Becoming a lower wider wave (15-20 m high) by the time it made its way to America would surge up to 20 miles past the shoreline leaving a path of watery destruction in its wake.  Major coastal cities would be in essence washed off the map, skyscrapers would be leveled and swept away, bridges would be torn away from their foundations, and human life would cease to exist by this destructive force in mere minutes.

How can we stop it?

Not to be pessemistic, but we can't. Phenomena of this magnitude literally HAVE no way to be diverted. These are natually occuring events, and next to the awesome force of mother nature, man would not stand much chance. Even evacuations would be a futile effort. For all the people living on say : the east coast and everywhere inland withing 10-20 miles, there would really not be an easy means to escape. You would have millions in panic, piling in their cars... it would be the worst kind of chaos.

The only alternative is evacuating when the volcano (Canaries) starts to erupt, possibly giving a few days or weeks warning. This plan may sound good, but having a massive earthquake or a random asteroid crash into the ocean would not give us more than a few hours of warning, if any at all.

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