Greece may experience tsunami before century-end

Published: Sunday 15 October 2006

The Mediterranean region, particularly the area around Greece, could be hit by a major tsunami before the end of the century, according to Gerassimos Papadopoulos, a scientist at the Athens Institute of Geodynamics.

According to data presented at the recently-held First European Conference on Earthquake Engineering and Seismology, a major tsunami occurs in the Mediterranean about every 136 years. But now, the Mediterranean's growing coastal populations and tourism infrastructure have made it vulnerable to massive damages by tsunami, Papadopoulos said at the Geneva meet. A Mediterranean tsunami could be as strong as the one that hit the Indian Ocean region in December 2004. Though the Mediterranean's basin will not allow the tsunami to spread across the whole sea, but a tsunami near the Greek or Italian coast would travel very quickly and hit land within minutes, Papadopoulos said.

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