- Description of the risk
- Tsunami history in the Mediterranean and Italy
- National alert and monitoring system
- Tsunami Warning System for the Mediterranean area
- Tsunami Warning System. the Ocean Pacific model
Tsunami history in the Mediterranean and Italy
Tsunamis in the Mediterranean. The tectonic structure of the Mediterranean Sea resulting from the collision of the Eurasian and African plates is very complex. Historical information, sector studies and seismotectonic data allowed to identify the areas where tsunamis are more likely to start, showing that most of them are very close to the coast or only partially emerged; consequently, the time lapse between the generation of the tsunami and the arrival of the wave is rather short. The most dangerous tsunami sources of the Mediterranean area are placed along the Algerian-Tunisian structure (EW direction from Gibraltar to the Strait of Sicily), IIbleo-Maltese (50 km from the east coast of Sicily) Hellenic Arc (NW direction Kefalonia Rhodes-E).
In history, there have been 127 tsnuamis that affected the Mediterranean coasts; 90 of them occured in the central area of the Mediterranean, i.e. Italy, eastern Greece, Albania, Croatia and Algeria. Most events had local and caused severe damage in the vicinity of the source area, while others have had catastrophic magnitude and regional impact. In particular, the most destructive tsunamis of the Mediterranean have occurred in Greece and Italy, where most of the tsunami are of seismic origin.
Tsunamis in Italy. There have been tsunamis with origin in the Tyrrhenian and Ionian area throughout history. The latter has been affected by tsunamis triggered by seismic events in the Greek Aegean Islands and events in the Calabrian coast, in Crotone. Even the east coast of Sicily has been affected by tsunamis, including that caused by the earthquake of 11 January 1693 in Noto Valley. The quake, of magnitude 7.4, struck south-eastern Sicily and the tsunami wave that followed the quake caused extensive damage to the cities of Catania and Augusta, and, to a lesser extent, Messina. Victims of the earthquake and tsunami were estimated at around 35 thousand. Another example is the Messina earthquake of December 28, 1908, of magnitude 7.1, that caused a massive tsunami that swept the coasts of Sicily and Calabria. Around 85,000 people lost their lives, many of which as a result of the tsunami wave, about ten meters high.
In addition to earthquakes, tsunami waves can also be caused by other causes, such as submarine landslides. This is demonstrated by the Stromboli experience of 2002.- Next Previous -