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Tsunami ... Bigger disaster ahead ???
Contributed by: G3nu1n3, at 1/03/2005 07:33:00 PM.

Source: Times Of India

Another global disaster is already in progress. Events are inexorably priming a tsunami that will kill a million people and devastate the south coast of Britain and the eastern seaboard of the United States. “It’s happening now and nothing can stop it,’’ says the London academic professor Bill McGuire.

The 50-year-old scientist, who has done more than anyone to publicise the threat of giant tidal waves, hopes the Indian Ocean tragedy will shake governments out of their complacency to prepare for the next catastrophe. “Everybody wants to develop a tsunami warning system now,’’ he observes drily. “It would have been nice to have had one ten years ago.’’

The Boxing Day tsunami was the first global geophysical event, or “gee gee’’, in living memory. It seems mild compared to the horrific scenario identified by McGuire and his team at the Benfield Hazard Research Centre at University College London.

The trigger is a volcano on La Palma in the Canary Islands. Cumbre Vieja normally erupts at intervals of 20 to 200 years and has not done so since 1971. The next eruption may dislodge an unstable 12-mile-long slab of rock the size of the Isle of Man, which will crash to the sea bed causing a dome of water a mile high. The rock is already slipping down by infinitesimal degrees. “When it goes, it will likely collapse in 90 seconds,’’ McGuire says.

The resulting tsunami, travelling at 500mph, would reach Britain in six hours, with waves rearing up to 33ft. “It’s the same sort of size as the waves that caused the deaths in the Indian Ocean,’’ McGuire notes.

Britain last received such a battering 7,000 years ago, when a huge landslide off the coast of Norway launched a 75-ft wave that poured across north-east Scotland, where Aberdeen is today. “It was the biggest landslide we know of,’’ says McGuire.

The La Palma tsunami would reach the Americas nine to 12 hours after the dislodgement, laying waste to the eastern seaboard of the United States with waves of 165ft. Boston, New York and Miami would be destroyed and the Caribbean islands overwhelmed.

To avert disaster would require an early warning system in order to stage the largest evacuation in human history. Yet, bizarrely, La Palma has not been closely monitored since McGuire and his colleagues established four years ago that the rock slab was moving at a speed of a third of an inch a year.

The international attention generated by McGuire’s research has astonished him, and there is even a thriller based on his prediction. Scimitar SL2, the latest book by the bestselling author Patrick Robinson, describes a terrorist plot to attack the United States by detonating La Palma’s rock slide with missile strikes.

But the US government has not acknowledged the hazard or offered funding to research it. “It’s a very blinkered outlook,’’ McGuire says. “I’ve had loads of e-mails from worried Americans, asking if I know when it’s going to go.’’ The answer is that he does not know. But the outcome remains 100 certain.

Source: Times Of India
The article is on PAGE 10 : International

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1 Comments:

  • Interesting observation - this last Tsunami deal would surely wake the entire world but how much can you do to prevent the "Azzab"

    By Blogger Teeth Maestro, at 1/04/2005 09:05:00 PM  

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