This is a Disaster Forecast, not a Hoax
The British National Press published articles during the
latter part of 2004 stating that an eminent American vulcanologist, who has
been an advisor to the United Nations and was in charge of
tsunami research in Hawaii, has forecast
that “during the next few decades” there is a probability
of a tidal wave 120 feet high, hitting the American Eastern seaboard.
George Pararas-Carayannis, a
scientist of Greek decent, has stated that this would be caused by a series of
three volcanoes on La Palma, in the Canary Islands, exploding, propelling a
piece of faulted material “the size of the Isle of Man”,
which is in the Irish Sea, into the North Atlantic Ocean.
This fault is a fact.
The trouble is compounded when even scientists specialising in the subject cannot agree.
I have spoken to many people about these newspaper articles and have consequently found out and calculated the following information, which I feel I MUST pass on, in good faith, even though the news is extremely gloomy to millions of people. There is no way in which any one person can be blamed for lack of publicity or lack of action, only Governments. There are not enough people who know of this danger to the planet. We are all unqualified in the subject of volcanoes and tsunamis, and must put our futures in the hands of experts, which include British scientists, to keep information like this available.
“Dr. Simon Day and Bill McGuire of the Benfield Hazard Research Centre at
University College, London agree and say that the fault is now inherently
unstable, and that they expect it to crash into the ocean.”
(Src. Western Morning News)
The wave created would initially be in excess of 1000 feet (300 meters) high, and would obliterate all life along many thousands of miles of shoreline on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, probably sinking many ships near both coastlines of the Atlantic Ocean. This wave is expected to be 120 feet (37 meters) high when it hits the Boston/New York area. It is forecast to travel as far as 12 miles (19 Kilometers) inland from the American East Coast and the result will be thousands of times worse that the New Orleans flooding, killing hundreds of thousands of people and leaving damage which will ruin the American economy for decades.
A BBC Television programme called "10 Things you didn't know about Tsunamis" has been broadcast several times on BBC4 and recently (13th March 2008) on BBC 2, which is probably a more popular channel, and consequently the programme will have more impetus on the public. However, and rather puzzling, the only mention, again, is of the consequences to the New York/ Boston area. Possibly a financial consideration, I think. However this wave, or series of waves will be 5 hours old when it reaches there. I have analysed, shown below, what would happen in that five hours.
...itself will travel through water at up to 600 miles (1000 kilometers) per hour and will be unseen by sea going vessels, as the wave travels within the upper layers of the water. However, as it approaches the shoreline the wave erupts above the water level to the same height as the wave depth, in this case over 100 feet. There may also be a series of waves of various sizes. 100/120 feet (37 meters) refers to the waves in the quoted New York/ Boston area. The effect nearer to the event will be MUCH, MUCH worse.
Further Specific Results
This wave will spread in a circle, just as a stone thrown into a pond forms concentric ripples. However THIS TSUNAMI WILL MAKE THE INDONESIAN TSUNAMI LOOK JUST LIKE THAT — A RIPPLE.
This tsunami will, within a few minutes, hit the Northwest African coastline with waves which, being closer to the event, will be possibly in excess of 800 feet high (240 metres) destroying all coastal cities and all life within many miles of the coast. There will be little possibility of any useful warning period. At the same time the Canary Islands and Madeira will suffer the same fate.
Soon after this, and within 2 hours of the event a wave of over 600 feet (180m) will sweep North and South devastating the Azores, Gibraltar and the South coast of Spain, Portugal, Senegal, and Guinea. The wave will continue on into the Mediterranean Sea to a similar extent as the below results.
Within 3 hours a wave, or series of waves, over 400 feet (120 metres) high will inundate the whole Bay of Biscay area, and the Southern parts of England, Ireland and Wales. The West African states as far South as Ghana will also be seriously affected by now.
(The earlier estimates for the warning period and wave height for UK has had to be updated, unfortunately).
Four hours after the event Africa will be affected as far South as Gabon, the first part of the Americas will be affected (the East coast of Brazil), and the wave will have travelled as far North as Iceland and Scandinavia, both by way of the Atlantic and the English Channel and North Sea, affecting Northern France, the South and East of England, including London, Belgium, the Netherlands, Northern Germany and Denmark on the way.
Only after 5 hours does the wave strike the North Eastern States of the United States, equally devastating New York, Boston, and all the other coastal areas to a distance of 12 miles (20km) from the sea.
At this stage it might be an idea to contemplate the even worse disasters which would have already occurred in Africa and Europe and try to judge how much further the waves will have travelled overland from the coast in these, mainly low-lying, countries.
You can see now, I hope, why I am anxious to get the message passed around the World so that SOME effort can be made to save at least SOME of the millions of lives which will be lost, and all in a very few short hours.
This wave, now 5 hours old and still over 35 metres high is now affecting the North coast of Brazil as far West as Trinidad and the Antilles and the African coast as far South as Angola.
Within 7 hours Florida and the remainder of the West Indies will have been swamped, and Nicaragua, Mexico, Namibia, Cape Town and South Brazil will be badly affected.
Closer to Home
The wave hitting the coasts of the United Kingdom will possibly be around 400 feet (120 meters) high causing terrible loss of life and will literally wreck not only coastal towns and cities, but many inland low-lying ones also.
We may well expect this tidal wave to hit Devon and Cornwall, and South Wales soon after, travelling along the South West and South coasts of England , the entire coast of Wales, North West England and the West coast of Scotland and both coasts of Ireland. This wave will also travel the full length of the English Channel, which will possibly tend to funnel the wave at a near constant height, ending up surging into the North Sea, flooding the Low Countries, and inundating London. Unfortunately even the scientists can only speculate as to the height of the waves . The death figures in UK alone will be over a million because there is a possibility of the population receiving ONLY TWO AND A HALF HOURS NOTICE OF EVACUATION. Do you remember how very little notice there was when Mount St. Helens finally blew?
The Overall Picture
Just imagine the overall picture if NO precautionary work is undertaken. The damage will be the same, but the loss of life will be very much higher.
South & West England
South & West England will suffer worst, with Penzance, Falmouth and Truro, Plymouth, Torquay and Exeter, Weymouth, Bournemouth and Poole, Portsmouth and Southampton ceasing to exist. Even cities such as Salisbury and Winchester could suffer some flood damage, with enormous loss of life on the way. Of course, this damage will continue further East and North. The East coast will be inundated, and all coastal and low-lying areas of Scotland will also be affected. On both sides of the English Channel, The Bristol Channel and the Irish sea. Bristol and Cardiff, even Gloucester and further, will suffer terribly. Many other seaside areas with hills behind could POSSIBLY have time to evacuate SOME of their inhabitants to higher land, but the majority will not be rescued in time because the political and civic leaders will not have heeded this warning, or acted soon enough.
What Can Tsunamiwatch Do?
We, in the United Kingdom, have already contacted the Cabinet Office twice. They have passed the buck to DEFRA who, by public demand, have issued a pitiful document which shows that the political will is not permitting any useful warning systems, other than those available at present. These would be entirely inadequate - as time will tell.
Is This Sufficient Action?
We think not, which is why we have released this document, and are asking for maximum publicity from all areas of the press.
Our Minimum Target
is to get all the warning sirens, used so successfully during the War, replaced and supplemented by extra ones so that everyone in low lying areas within 30 miles of the sea, lesser distances in areas with higher land, can be warned as effectively as possible.
Of course the possibility of false alarms must be looked at, but it will surely be best to act on every warning than to lose one's life. THE POPULATION WILL ONLY GET THE ONE CHANCE TO SURVIVE.
Houston was evacuated, but it took two days. Remember that this time you may only get TWO AND A HALF HOURS.
Our Immediate Aim
is to get assurances from all the MPs representing the West and South coast areas, and the town, city, borough and district councils in the same areas, to carry out the minimum amount of preparation work, at the minimum cost to the country with the biggest end result. We must plan expecting the worst scenario. We consider that information spread in the wrong way may cause a certain amount of worry and lead to the lowering of coastal property prices to the initial detriment of the country as a whole, but THIS CANNOT BE HELPED. All Tsunami Watch can do is to ensure that the dangers are recognised for what they are, INTERNATIONALLY.
Comments will undoubtedly be made by the cash-strapped Governments about sending television and radio announcements out. Yes, fine, provided there are sufficient pre-eruption signs, and Remember, that there may be only two and a half hours warning-and in the middle of the night. Again, remember Mt. St Helens? There was minimal warning when that one blew.
In the UK it will be important for each area to have a really effective disaster co-ordinator with a senior position in local government to examine the local problems for evacuation purposes. I have been a voluntary Area Emergency Planner and I know from my past experience that the existing Emergency Planning Officers of most UK Councils “have been found more important or additional jobs already.” We can see an awareness already appearing among various population groups. We would suggest holding a series of meetings so that at least a proportion of all coast populations can work out for themselves what to do and where to go, when, not if the time comes.
... of the elderly and infirm will be a priority, but at night bus drivers will be at home in bed. Where roads are going to be congested, traffic going INTO an area, such as Portsmouth or Plymouth would be banned, allowing double the normal amount of traffic for evacuation purposes, as happened at Houston.
The Financial Cost
In the end, and WHEN it happens, the financial cost will be astronomical, IN EVERY COUNTRY INVOLVED. In the meantime, if Governments act quickly and quietly loss of life can be minimised. A much higher loss of life will occur if Governments do not take notice, and if some action is not taken soon.
We would appreciate being informed of any and all useful and meaningful decisions made in any areas, so that expert advice can be centralised and made available to as many people as possible.
PLEASE REMEMBER this disaster may not happen straight away. It may be twenty, forty, sixty, eighty years ahead, but on the other hand it COULD be next week.
Very importantly and finally, I have to say that although all of this theoretical work was done, as mentioned in the second paragraph, “in good faith”, it was started by working on the assumption that the newspaper quote was correct. I have only just found out, late in November 2005, from Dr. George Pararas-Carayannis himself that he was misquoted.
He has kindly written “please do not be so hard on yourself and do continue with your well intented efforts to properly educate the public about disasters and needed preparedness.”
What I have also learned is the ineffectiveness of government and local MPs when you need them. They care little about the fact that well over a million British people could possibly have drowned within the loose time-scale referred to. My letters to the government have had little impact to date.
At least we have learned not to rely on government but to try talking to local government about early warning systems.
Updated Late (Issue 4)