Tidal wave, La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain


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La Palma, like the rest of the Canary Islands, is volcanic in origin. And as well as being the steepest island in the world, it has also been the most volcanically active of the Canary Islands in the past 500 years. There have been eruptions as recently as 1971. Other previous eruptions took place in 1949, 1712, 1677, 1646, 1585 and 1470.

But what could all this mean for the rest of the world?

British and U.S. scientists have issued a warning predicting that Atlantic coastlines in Europe, Africa and the Americas are under threat from a monster wave of Biblical proportions as a result of Cumbre Vieja on La Palma Island.

If it erupts (which it does periodically) it could cause a massive landslide which would send a 300-foot wave across the Atlantic, causing major destruction to many coastal towns and cities. It would completely destroy the coasts of Florida and Brazil and would cause considerable damage to the Western Sahara, Portugal, Spain, France and parts of the UK.

Scientists believe that this mega-wave could travel at speeds of up to 500 miles per hour and would be completely unstoppable!

Previous research has shown that a future eruption of Cumbre Vieja is highly likely to plunge the western side of the mountain into the sea.

This would cause a dome of water almost 900 metres (3,000 ft) high and tens of kilometres wide to form - which would then collapse and rebound.

The waves first target would be the West Saharan coast of Morocco. They predict it could be a devastating 330ft at this point, which would cause immeasurable destruction.

Travelling at the speed of a jet aircraft, it would reach Florida and the Caribbean in just eight or nine hours. When it arrives, it would be a devastating 164ft high; higher than Nelson's Column in London.

It would hit the northern Coast of Brazil at a height of around 130ft and travel inland for around five miles wiping out everything in its path.

By the time it hits the UK, it will be a lot smaller, but still hugely destructive. The Wave will travel up along the Iberian Peninsula and France before it attacks Britain's Atlantic Coastline.

Scientists say that eruptions of Cumbre Vieja occur in roughly ten year decades and that there maybe a number of eruptions before it actually collapses.

Although research is still ongoing, all scientists agree that Cumbre Vieja needs to be monitored closely at all times for any signs of impending volcanic activity.

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