27 September 2011

"when mountains fall into the sea"

29 Elul 5771
Erev Rosh Hashanah

Tehillim 46

"... God is for us a shelter and a strength, a help in troubles; He is very accessible. Therefore we will not fear when the earth changes and when mountains totter into the heart of seas."

Canary Island prepares for eruption
Santa Cruz de Tenerife - Minor earthquakes have been reported on El Hierro, indicating a slim chance that a volcano could erupt on the Spanish Canary Island, an expert said on Monday.

...More than 30 quakes occurred on Monday.

Most of the tremors so far have been too weak to be noticed by residents. The strongest, which registered at a magnitude of 3.4, was felt all over the island on Saturday.

The seismic movements indicated that magmatic material was pressing towards the Earth's surface,....

...The authorities are informing the island's 10 000 residents about the possibility of an eruption and on what to do if that happened.

El Hierro has not seen a volcanic eruption since 1793.

Canary Islands Government Raises El Hierro Volcanic Alert Level
Spanish seismologists, accompanied by the President of the Cabildo de El Hierro and the Minister of Security and Emergency Area, held a press conference on Sunday to reassure the 10,000 residents of the smallest of the Canary Islands that the raising of the alert level does not indicate that an eruption is imminent. They indicated, however, that the number of volcanic earthquakes detected beneath El Hierro continues to increase.

...The vast majority of the tremors have been recorded in the northwest of the 278.5-square-kilometre island at El Golfo, the location of a massive landslide that created a 100-metre high tsunami almost 50,000 years ago.

...In a BBC Horizon programme broadcast on October 12, 2000, two geologists (Day and McGuire) hypothesised that during a future eruption, the western flank of the Cumbre Vieja, with a mass of approximately 1.5 x1015 kg, could slide into the ocean. This could then potentially generate a giant wave which they termed a “megatsunami” around 650–900 m high in the region of the islands. The wave would radiate out across the Atlantic and inundate the eastern seaboard of North America including the American, the Caribbean and northern coasts of South America some six to eight hours later. They estimate that the tsunami will have waves possibly 160 ft (49 m) or more high causing massive devastation along the coastlines. Modelling suggests that the tsunami could inundate up to 25 km (16 mi) inland – depending upon topography.

G-d forbid it should ever happen! But, if you are located near a coastline where a tsunami could possibly strike, at least know where the highest point in your area is and have a plan to get there fast.