by Staff Writers
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Oct 12, 2011
As scientists have been baffled by earthquakes in the U.S. and a tsunami in Japan, there is one thing some of them seem to agree on - something really bad is about to happen and it's going to happen soon.
That's the news uncovered by New York Times best-selling novelist Steve Alten from the research he performed for his new book, Phobos: Mayan Fear, a fictional tale of the Mayan 2012 doomsday prediction.
His story incorporates the very real existence of a volatile volcano in the Canary Islands that some scientists believe could pose a catastrophic threat to the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. What's worse is that many believe the volcano is close to erupting.
"Scientists have been tracking this since 2001," said Alten.
"Ten years ago, Dr. Simon Day, of the Benfield Greig Hazard Research Centre at University College London, predicted that if the volcano, called Cumbre Vieja, was to erupt, it would cause a landslide, which in turn would create a massive mega-tsunami.
"Moving at roughly the speed of a commercial jet, these waves would be about 100 to 160 feet high by the time they crossed the Atlantic to strike U.S. shores."
What's worse is that El Hierro, another volcano only 80 miles from Cumbro Viejo, is set to erupt soon.
"At the end of September, the Canary Islands government raised the alert level for the El Hierro volcano in the Canary Islands (Spain) to 'Yellow,' the highest alert status since an unprecedented earthquake swarm commenced in mid-July," Alten added.
"Now, that volcano won't cause a massive tsunami, but I can't imagine that a volcano erupting 80 miles away from another more volatile volcano is something that will add to the geologic stability of the region."
Alten's research for his book also revealed that most scientists don't consider a Cumbro Viejo eruption just a possibility. They believe it is a probability.
"Dr. Steven Ward from the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at the University of California co-authored a paper with Dr. Day in which he stated that in the case of Cumbro Viejo, it is not a matter of if, but rather, a matter of when."
According to the paper, entitled "Cumbre Vieja Volcano - Potential collapse and tsunami at La Palma, Canary Islands," the volcano would cause a massive landslide on the island of La Palma, forcing a massive chunk of land into the ocean.
Immediately thereafter, an unprecedented mountain of water about 3,000 feet high would form and crest only to collapse and rebound back into the ocean.
The tsunami would cover about 155 miles in about 10 minutes, and rumble past 500 miles per hour as it spread through the Atlantic toward the U.S. coast. Waves as high as 164 feet would pound the lower part of the Eastern Seaboard.
"People were surprised by the earthquakes here in the states and shocked at the Japanese tsunami," Alten said.
"I may be a writer of fiction, but when it is based on facts this strong and this compelling, I can tell you I won't be surprised when we get a tsunami warning to evacuate to East Coast. After all, the facts have been here the whole time."
Steve Alten grew up in Philadelphia, earning his Bachelors degree in Physical Education at Penn State University, a Masters Degree in Sports Medicine.
Benfield Greig Hazard Research Centre
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest
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Indian Ocean tsunami alert system to be tested on Oct 12
Paris (AFP) Oct 6, 2011
Nearly two dozen countries next Wednesday will take part in a full-scale test of the Indian Ocean's tsunami alert system, using the 2004 Sumatra quake as the basis for the exercise, UNESCO said on Thursday. Exercise IOWAVE 11 will re-enact the seismic events of December 26, 2004, simulating a 9.2-magnitude quake that occurs northwest of Sumatra, sending waves across the Indian Ocean that str ... read more
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