A large volcano on the Cape Verdean island of Fogo collapsed onto itself, producing a Tsunami unlike anything we have ever seen in our history – an 800ft high mega tsunami which destroyed the nearby islands.
The gargantuan wave was produced by what is known as a ‘flank collapse’, which occurs when a volcano’s slopes collapse into the ocean, like a massive landslide. Since then, the volcano has slowly been growing back to it’s original size, and scientists are concerned that once again, if a flank collapse occurs, a mega tsunami would prove devastating.
“Our point is that flank collapses can happen extremely fast and catastrophically, and therefore are capable of triggering giant tsunamis,” said scientist Dr Ricardo Ramalho. “They probably don’t happen very often. But we need to take this into account when we think about the hazard potential of these kinds of volcanic features.”
The volcano on Fogo at this moment currently stands at 2743m above sea level – easily high enough for a similar disaster to take place. The previous resulting tsunami that occurred was 6 times higher than the tsunami that hit India in 2004 and Japan in 2011.
Professor Bill McGuire, a tsunami expert, believes such an event could occur every 10,000 years.
“The scale of such events, as the Fogo study testifies, and their potentially devastating impact, makes them a clear and serious hazard in ocean basins that host active volcanoes,”