December 29, 2004

East Coast could become the Least Coast

US also faces tsunami threat
27/12/2004 08:16 - (SA)

Paris - Cities on the US East Coast and in the Caribbean could be wrecked by a tsunami unleashed by the collapse of a volcanic island in the eastern Atlantic, British scientists believe.

A massive chunk of La Palma, the most volcanically active island in the Canaries archipelago, is unstable, says Simon Day, of the Benfield Grieg Hazard Research Centre at University College London.

He calculates that its flank could collapse the next time the volcano, Cumbre Vieja, erupts.

If so, that would send a dome-shaped wall of water up to 100 metres high racing across the Atlantic at 800 kilometres per hour, hitting the western coast of Africa and southern coast of England within a few hours.

Some eight hours after the collapse, the US East Coast and Caribbean would bear the brunt.

Cities from Miami to New York would get swamped by waves up to 50 metres high, capable of surging up to 20 kilometres inland, according to Day's research.

Posted by Kyer at December 29, 2004 11:11 AM