Risk of a tsunami in the Mediterranean is real says geological survey

The risk of tsunami occurring in the Mediterranean is real, the Cyprus geological survey department said on Tuesday, ahead of World Tsunami Awareness Day on Saturday.

The department said Cyprus’ shores have been affected by “catastrophic tsunamis” in the past, which killed people and destroyed then coastal towns.

Tsunamis, the department said, has devastating effects on both the natural and the built environment.

Around the world in the past 80 years, more people have died in tsunamis than in earthquakes, and since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami 227,000 people have lost their lives.

In the Mediterranean region there is an early warning system for tsunamis, of which Cyprus is a member state.

The department said that as part of the operation of this system, the geological survey department provides real-time seismological data to the warning centres of Greece and Italy and the civil defence of Cyprus receives the warning messages from these centres.

The department coordinates at a national level the actions of Unesco’s CoastWave project concerning the preparation and readiness of the municipality of Larnaca for dealing with a tsunami, while the programme will include Larnaca in the ‘Tsunami-Ready’ communities of the world.

The geological survey said each person should be able to recognise the physical signs of a possible impending tsunami, such as a strong and/or prolonged earthquake and/or rapid change in sea level.

Cyprus Mail

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