Tsunami warning: Britain could be hit by 30m wave – Professor warns of hazards to Britain

While many believe the British Isles are not classically associated with seismic activity such as earthquakes and tsunamis, there is evidence that it has been hit before. One such example is the Storegga landslide off the coast of Norway which led to a 20-metre high tsunami hitting the British Isles 8,200 years ago. The Storegga landslide unleashed a huge wave on Britain’s northern islands as an underwater land mass larger than Scotland broke away from the seabed off Norway and rolled downhill.

It was thought to be a one-off event but scientists have uncovered evidence suggesting at least two more tsunamis took place.

There were also examples of tsunamis hitting Britain 1,500 years ago and 5,000 years ago, although it is unsure what caused them.

Now, experts have warned that Britain could be under threat from another massive tsunami – but they do not know when it will hit, or how these mega-waves are generated.

Typically, tsunamis are formed as a result of huge earthquakes along the ocean floor. But Britain is not near a fault line, meaning a tsunami is not likely generated by tremors.

Dave Tappin of the British Geological Survey (BGS) told “The hazards in Britain: There are two factors to it. One is a giant submarine landslide off the coast of Norway called Storegga.

“Storegga happened about 8,000 years ago where a tsunami about 30 metres high hit the Shetlands.

“In Shetlands they found evidence of a tsunami 1,500 years ago and 5,000 years ago. But we don’t know what the mechanisms for these are, but we think they are landslides, and what we’re trying to do is identify what these landslides are.”

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Further research from the team at BGS found that tsunamis which hit Britain are not as uncommon as they first thought with tsunami the size of the Storegga event taking place every 100,000 years or so.

READ MORE: Earthquake warning: 8.9 ‘destructive’ tremor is ‘certain’ to hit NZ

In 2011, an earthquake off the coast of Japan unleashed a massive 50ft tsunami that caused Fukushima nuclear power plant to meltdown.

The disaster killed 15,884 people and left 2,636 unaccounted for.

Nuclear power stations must be protected against any disaster likely to happen more than once in every 10,000 years.


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