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A huge chunk of rock, roughly the size of the Isle of Man, is "on the brink" of breaking off the volcanic island of La Palma in the Canaries.

It will surge across the entire Atlantic in a matter of hours, engulfing the whole US east coast, sweeping away everything in its path up to 20km inland. Boston would be hit first, followed by New York, then all the way down the coast to Miami and the Caribbean.

"When - Professor McGuire says it is not a matter of if - the rock plunges into the ocean it will trigger giant waves called mega-tsunamis.."See Guardian for August 10 2004


See also http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/horizon/2000/mega_tsunami_transcript.shtml Mega-tsunami move the entire body of the ocean, right down to the seabed several kilometres below. Because of the enormous volume of water that is shifted, mega-tsunami have very long wave lengths, often hundreds of kilometres from the front of the wave to the back. This makes them particularly devastating when they approach a shoreline..."La Palma is going to collapse into the North Atlantic. Itís not a question of if, itís just a question of when."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/horizon/2000/mega_tsunami.shtml

The growing concern is that the ideal conditions for just such a landslide - and consequent mega-tsunami - now exist on the island of La Palma in the Canaries.

In 1949 the southern volcano on the island erupted. During the eruption an enormous crack appeared across one side of the volcano, as the western half slipped a few metres towards the Atlantic before stopping in its tracks. Although the volcano presents no danger while it is quiescent, scientists believe the western flank will give way completely during some future eruption on the summit of the volcano. In other words, any time in the next few thousand years a huge section of southern La Palma, weighing 500 thousand million tonnes, will fall into the Atlantic ocean. What will happen when the volcano on La Palma collapses? Scientists predict that it will generate a wave that will be almost inconceivably destructive, far bigger than anything ever witnessed in modern times. It will surge across the entire Atlantic in a matter of hours, engulfing the whole US east coast, sweeping away everything in its path up to 20km inland. Boston would be hit first, followed by New York, then all the way down the coast to Miami and the Caribbean.