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Could We Survive a Mega-Tsunami?
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The short answer is no. This is one of those gleefully alarmist, CGI-stuffed documentaries designed to make us sleep less peacefully in our beds.
You see, regular tsunamis (or tidal waves, as we used to know them) are caused by ocean-floor earthquakes. They can, of course, cause colossal damage and loss of life. But a so-called mega-tsumani is different – caused by the kind of landslide you get when part of a volcanic island (such as La Palma in the Canaries, potentially) collapses into the sea. The resulting waves could be the height of two Empire State Buildings and travel at the speed of a jet aircraft. Run for the hills!
The destructive effects of tsunamis have been all too evident in recent years, with the one on Boxing Day 2004 killing around 250,000 people in southern Asia and another striking Japan in March 2011 - bringing one of the world's most advanced countries close to a nuclear catastrophe. This documentary uses the latest scientific modelling to present a minute-by-minute account of what might happen if there was a mega-tsunami in the Atlantic, and what it would do to cities including Casablanca, Lisbon, London and New York.
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