Not today... but this is no joke.
I watched a program the other day about the findings of Dr Simon Day, of the Benfield Centre, University College in London. These findings were published well before the current Tsunami, btw. Apparently, off the African coast in the Canary Islands lies a somewhat unique volcano, "Cumbre Vieja" on the island of La Palma. This volcano erupts in intervals of a few decades to a couple of centuries. The last time it did, in 1971, it created a HUGE fault line that stretched for many kilometers
separating one huge chunk of the Island that weighs in at about 500 Billion Tons. Imagine a rock of 20 cubic kilometers being dropped into the ocean! Sound far-fetched? It's not. According to Dr. Day and his experts this type of event has occurred many times in our past, we just weren't writing stuff down last time it happened.
Anyway, what makes this volcano unique is that it is filled with water. Each time this thing erupts, it runs lava and creates a layer of rock, right? Now imagine the dirt that separates these layers of rock being very saturated with water. NOW imagine a volcano heating the water between these layers to the boiling point, and the pressure that puts on them, and you will understand where the incredible force comes from to move half a trillion tons of rock in one piece
creating the largest landslide in modern history.
Now, when this chunk of land hits the sea it will be heading into a part of the ocean that is almost 4 miles deep and it will create an undersea wave 2000 feet tall. Within five minutes of the landslide, this wave will form a dome of water about a mile high (literally
). When this collapses it will create a Mega Tsunami from hell, traveling in all directions. A 300ft+ wave will strike the western Sahara in less than an hour. The rest of the Canary Islands will protect Europe from the worst of it, but they'll still be smacked hard. 3 hours in, Lisbon and La Coruña will be hit with 30ft+ foot waves. 6 hours in, South West England gets hit with the same thing. The Thames will see a surge it can't deal with and the barriers will burst
but even this is minor compared to what's in store the entire eastern seaboard of the United States.
Unimpeded, the Mega-Tsunami will arrive at the United States 7 hours after the enormous landslide with waves that Dr. Day's models predict will be nearly 200 feet high and will sweep up to 20 miles inland. This isn't a movie folks, and Dr. Day isn't a madman. These things have been happening on this planet for millions of years, though somewhat infrequently, and they're not going to stop happening just because we live here now. When asked the chances of this happening, Dr. Day explains: "It's not a question of "if" Cumbre Vieja collapses, it's simply a question of "when". The best models they have say the collapse will likely happen in the next 2,000 years (a few seconds in earth terms). That puts the chances at about 1 in 20 that it will happen in any 100 year span. Those aren't as good of odds as you might think. In Florida, for instance, an average of 10 people a year are killed by lightning strikes or 1 in 1.6 million. The odds of this Mega-Tsunami coming in any given year are 80 times higher than getting struck by lightning in Florida.
Good news: Volcanoes NEVER erupt without warning (or so they say)
which means as long as we're watching Cumbre Vieja very closely
and you better believe we are
we should have some warning. 7 hours is enough to get most of the people to higher ground I would think, though the cities would be a nightmare, and Florida is flat out doomed. If I see so much as a serious puff of smoke come out of that thing, I'm so out of here it isn't funny. Sweet dreams.