Thursday, 7 Dec 2023

Godzilla-sized waves could smash into these UK seaside towns in warning

Biblical waves could wipe a string of southern UK towns and cities from the map if a natural disaster happens thousands of miles away in the Atlantic, scientists claim. 

The ‘mega tsunami’ could be sparked in the future by an enormous landslide on the Canary Islands which could see a chunk of land the size of the Isle of Man crash into the ocean. 

In just six hours the monstrous waves would race across the world before reaching southern English settlements like Brighton, Exeter, Southampton, Bournemouth and Portsmouth. London too would be in danger from huge flooding along the Thames. 

Sir David King, who once served as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government, said the wall of water could be triggered by a huge landslide on the island of La Palma.

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Known as the Cumbre Vieja tsunami hazard, it is an area with a very large fracture in the earth caused by activity from the Cumbre Vieja volcano.

Scientists believe a schism created in 1949 could be the prelude to a very large landslide that has happened before on the volanic island. It’s impossible to estimate when the land may break free, but if it does, it is thought massive tsunamis will be sparked across the North Atlantic. 

Sir David told My London: “After the landslide in the Canary Islands, it would take roughly six hours for the wave to reach the UK. That might sound like a long time to give people to escape, but there are other places where people had longer to flee yet many people still died.

“What would happen in London is that everyone would get into their cars all at once to escape the city and they’d block all the roads. People wouldn’t be able to get out in time and they would essentially die in their cars.”

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Sir David added that although the chances of the tsunami happening in the near future might be slim, it could happen ‘at any time’ and Britain will need to be prepared. He says: “It could happen in 10,000 years time, but it could also happen tomorrow.”

“Salt water coming in from the sea could contaminate some fresh water reserves that Londoners use. There would be some ecological damage to wildlife too.

“On that note, the salt water would also saturate the soil around London. The change in salinity levels would mean farmers wouldn’t be able to grow crops in the area for many years afterwards, as has been seen in other tsunami-affected regions.”

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