La Palma in the Carnary Islands

Around the island of El Hierro in the Canaries have re-ignited the debate on the Mega Tsunami predicted to hit the Eastern Seaboard of the US.  The debate centers on a theory that focuses on a tsunami being caused after a large chunk of volcanic rock falls into the sea from the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the island of La Palma.
Part of this volcano is highly unstable and could collapse into the ocean at any time.  If this were to happen 20,000 cubic meters of rock could fall into open sea water and, channeled by the seabed geology, create a mega wave (Tsunami) travelling at 500mph in all directions.

The path of destruction caused by the wave would be as follows.  African nations of the western Sahara would be hit first by waves of 330ft, followed by southern Europe, then northern France, Ireland, and the UK. The eastern seaboard of the United States would be hit within 7 to 8 hours of the event, causing widespread devastation.  A wave making landfall at a height of up to 200ft would hit the metropolises of Boston and New York, then the Tsunami would travel south along the coast, taking out beachside communities all the way to Miami and the Florida Keys.

La Palma
 
 

A megatsunami is a very large wave created by a large, sudden displacement of material into a body of water.

On the night of July 9, 1958, an earthquake along the Fairweather Fault in the Alaska Panhandle loosened about 40 million cubic yards (30.6 million cubic meters) of rock high above the northeastern shore of Lituya Bay. This mass of rock plunged from an altitude of approximately 3000 feet (914 meters) down into the waters of Gilbert Inlet (see map below). The impact generated a local tsunami that crashed against the southwest shoreline of Gilbert Inlet. The wave hit with such power that it swept completely over the spur of land that separates Gilbert Inlet from the main body of Lituya Bay. The wave then continued down the entire length of Lituya Bay, over La Chaussee Spit and into the Gulf of Alaska. The force of the wave removed all trees and vegetation from elevations as high as 1720 feet (524 meters) above sea level. Millions of trees were uprooted and swept away by the wave. This is the highest wave that has ever been known.

Big Waves in History
  • 8,000 years ago: A volcano caused an avalanche in Sicily 8,000 years ago that crashed into the sea at 200 mph, triggering a devastating tsunami that spread across the entire Mediterranean Sea. There are no historical records of the event – only geological records – but scientists say the tsunami was taller than 10-story building.
  • Nov. 1, 1755: After a colossal earthquake destroyed Lisbon, Portugal and rocked much of Europe, people took refuge by boat. A tsunami ensued, as did great fires. Altogether, the event killed more than 60,000 people.
  • Aug. 27, 1883: Eruptions from the Krakatoa volcano fueled a tsunami that drowned 36,000 people in the Indonesian Islands of western Java and southern Sumatra. The strength of the waves pushed coral blocks as large as 600 tons onto the shore.
  • June 15, 1896: Waves as high as 100 feet (30 meters), spawned by an earthquake, swept the east coast of Japan. Some 27,000 people died.
  • April 1, 1946: The April Fools tsunami, triggered by an earthquake in Alaska, killed 159 people, mostly in Hawaii.
  • May 22, 1960: The largest recorded earthquake, magnitude 8.6 in Chile, created a tsunami that hit the Chilean coast within 15 minutes. The surge, up to 75 feet (25 meters) high, killed an estimated 1,500 people in Chile and Hawaii.
  • March 27, 1964: The Alaskan Good Friday earthquake, magnitude between 8.4, spawned a 201-foot (67-meter) tsunami in the Valdez Inlet. It traveled at over 400 mph, killing more than 120 people. Ten of the deaths occurred in Crescent City, in northern California, which saw waves as high as 20 feet (6.3 meters).
  • Aug. 23, 1976: A tsunami in the southwest Philippines killed 8,000 on the heels of an earthquake.
  • July 17, 1998: A magnitude 7.1 earthquake generated a tsunami in Papua New Guinea that quickly killed 2,200.
  • Dec. 26, 2004: A colossal earthquake with a magnitude between 9.1 and 9.3 shook Indonesia and killed an estimated 230,000 people, most due to the tsunami and the lack of aid afterward, coupled with deviating and unsanitary conditions. The quake was named the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake, and the tsunami has become known as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Those waves traveled the globe – as far as Nova Scotia and Peru.
  • March 11, 2011: A massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck northern Japan, triggering tsunamis that reportedly swept up cars, buildings and other debris. The Japan Meteorological Society has forecast more major tsunamis in the area, with some expected to reach more than 30 feet (10 m) off the coast of Hokkaido, Japan's second largest island. A tsunami was also generated off the coast of Hawaii, one that could cause damage along the coastlines of all islands in the state of Hawaii, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. Tsunami warnings are in effect across Hawaii as well.