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European cities prepare for catastrophic tidal wave that is ‘100%’ on the way

An expert has warned that the question "is not if, it’s when” a tsunami will hit in the Mediterranian – and it will likely be more than a metre high and within the next 30 years.

Vladimir Ryabinin, chief of UNESCO’s Oceanographic Commission, has said that “we have to be prepared for it” and that it could be “catastrophic”.

TheGuardianreports that Marseille, Alexandria and Istanbul are all in danger of being hit.

READ MORE: Seattle could be swallowed by 42ft tsunami in minutes if earthquake hits, study shows

UNESCO recently announced the new Tsunami Ready programme, which aims to train towns and communities that are at risk to know exactly what to do in the face of a big wave by 2030.

UNESCO’s top tsunami expert, Bernardo Aliaga, said: “The risk of tsunami is underestimated in most areas, including the Mediterranean.

“Events are not very frequent and the risk does not translate from one generation to another.

“We need to get the message out,” he said. “In the Mediterranean, there is no question about it: it is not if, it’s when.”

“Work has been done to establish 12 tsunami-warning centres covering most of the ocean, including the Mediterranean.”

The centres across the Mediterranian and northeast Atlantic are located in Greece, Turkey, Italy, France and Portugal.

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Aliaga added: "We want 100% of communities, where there is a proven hazard, to be ready to respond by 2030.

“They will have evacuation maps, they will have carried out exercises and they will already have in place 24-hour alerts.”

It is hard to imagine Europe being so badly affected by earthquakes or tsunamis, but it isn’t unheard of.

In 1755, a huge earthquake created enormous six-metre high waves in Lisbon and Cádiz while some 60,000 are thought to have died in an earthquake off the coast of Sicily in 1693.

In 2020 a Greek island, Samos, was hit by a tsunami.

On its site, UNSECO says: “The Tsunami Ready program seeks to build resilient communities through awareness and preparedness strategies that will protect life, livelihoods, and property from tsunamis in different regions.

“The main goal of the program is to improve coastal community preparedness for tsunamis and to minimize the loss of life, livelihoods, and property.”


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