Tsunami in the Mediterranean, not science fiction

According to UNESCO, there is a 100% chance that a tsunami will hit the coast within 30 years. From the Pyrenees Orientales to the Alpes Maritimes, 185 municipalities are at risk, including Corsica. The Major Risk Information Center, Cypress, provides risk reports

Imagine the scene. An invisible underwater collapse or earthquake on the active fault line in northern Algeria, and a little more than an hour later, a three-meter high wave crashed on the French Mediterranean coast: in a roar, the boats rip themselves from their moorings, and stranded in a terrible accident on the docks, Hit the restaurants. The wave drags with it parked vehicles, destroys campsites, floods beaches and everything on it … “If it happens on a December night, it will be fine, but if it is August 15 in the afternoon, with hundreds of thousands of people near the sea, it can be very complicated…”, An understatement by Michel Sacher, director of the Cyprès Information Center for the Prevention of Major Risks, located in Martigues. Commissioned by the Ministry of the Interior, the center has been working for about ten years to prepare an inventory of tsunami risks in the Mediterranean.

Read also. Mediterranean Sea: The probability of a tsunami occurring in the next 30 years is close to 100%, according to UNESCO

Because the above scenario is not science fiction. “185 municipalities on the Mediterranean coast, from the Pyrenees-Orientales to the Alpes Maritimes across the provinces of Corsica, are concerned with tsunami danger”, It warns. A tsunami is a succession of long waves penetrating inland. “The first is not necessarily the strongest”, Michel Sacher points out. Its spread speed can reach 900 km / h. Its altitude is variable and increases as you get closer to the coast. The waves generated by a tsunami are characterized by high amplitude and strength: the amount of water brought by a tsunami wave to the coast is 1000 times greater than that generated by a flood wave.

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In the Mediterranean, waves should not reach a height of 15-30 meters that was observed during the Tohoku earthquake, which caused the Fukushima disaster. “It was originally a 9.2 Richter scale earthquake. In the Mediterranean, it is estimated that we can experience 6 to 7 earthquakes. The danger is less strong but there can be a lot of damage with urbanization of the coasts. No more The height of the campsites by the sea is more than 30 cm above sea level. So even with a wave it is not very high … “, Michele Sacher continues.

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Within the next 30 years, UNESCO says there will be 100% risk of a tsunami with a wave more than 1 meter longIt is located on the coastal cities of the Mediterranean. Marseille, Nice, Cannes, Antibes, Grau-du-Roi, Perpignan? “We don’t want to scare people, but this is not a fantasy. The danger is very real. After that, we don’t know if the wave will be 30 cm or 3 meters … Nature exposes us to dangers, we must not expose ourselves to it out of ignorance.” Especially since we know better and better how to spot risks. The Tsunami Warning Center (Cenalt) monitors: “Commissioned by the state, it monitors the earthquakes and has a quarter of an hour from its detection to determine if it is a tsunami. If so, an alert is issued to the Interministerial Crisis Management Operations Center. Which alerts the prefectures, town halls, and firefighters…” You need to act quickly: a tsunami can break in an hour after the tremors. Test alerts and exercises are organized regularly. However, not all municipalities have yet incorporated tsunami risks into their protection plan. “Some do this by marking the beaches to evacuate, and by regrouping points out of the water…” to be “In preparation for the tsunami, the community should have developed a plan to reduce the tsunami risk, identify and map the areas of risk, develop public awareness and educational materials, create evacuation maps that everyone can understand, and make all useful information public.” UNESCO says. We haven’t gotten there yet. If you ever feel a strong or prolonged tremor, an abnormal and rapid development of sea level or hear an unusual deafening and noise, it is safest to seek a point in elevation.. “At least a two-story building or a nearby hill for example. But don’t take the car, Cypress alerts. The peculiarity of the tsunami that hits the coasts of the Mediterranean is that the time of its arrival to the coast is very fast, it ranges from 10 to 90 minutes, do not wait for the signal of the authorities to act! it was said.

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About the Author: Irene Alves

"Bacon ninja. Guru do álcool. Explorador orgulhoso. Ávido entusiasta da cultura pop."

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