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Tsunami could threaten East Coast

Jan 1, 2003

A chunk of rock on the hillside of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma in the Canary Islands could slide into the sea soon, sending a mega-tsunami in all directions.

The shockwave generated from the event would travel at speeds up to 500 miles per hour and could overwhelm the U.S. East Coast and northern Africa with a wave that could be as high as 330 feet, according to a report published in the September 2001 issue of Geophysical Research Letters.

Cumbre Vieja, which erupts sporadically every 10 to 100 years, is not showing signs of volcanic activity. The landslide would send a tsunami north, west and east of the Canaries, giving the Saharan coast the worst effects, a possible 330-foot wave. Within nine hours, the U.S. would be hit by a wave up to 165 feet in height.


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