Mega-tsunami could hit UK South Coast at ‘any time’ says Sir David King


Mega-tsunami could hit UK South Coast at ‘any time’ says Sir David King

Sir David King, former Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government and founder of the Centre for Climate Repair, has warned that a mega-tsunami caused by a landslide in the Canary Islands could potentially strike coastal towns in the UK at any time.

Sir David King warns the UK should prepare for a mega-tsunami (Image: Sir David King)

The landslide would involve a mass of rock equivalent in size to the Isle of Man falling into the Atlantic Ocean, which would result in a wall of water several meters high hitting the south coast of Britain.

The landslide, which would be equivalent to the size of the Isle of Man, could generate a wall of water several metres high hitting cities such as Brighton, Southampton, Bournemouth, Portsmouth and Exeter would be wiped out, with London being one of the most severely affected, as it would receive the wave directly.

While the chances of the giant wave hitting in the near future are “slim” he said: “It could happen in 10,000 years time, but it could also happen tomorrow.”

Speaking to My London, he explained: “In the case of tsunamis, the shallower the waters are, the larger the wave will get.

“Once the tsunami passes through the English Channel and into the Thames Estuary, it will grow in size and cause all sorts of destruction in the city.”

Sir David explained that, in the case of tsunamis, the shallower the waters are, the larger the wave will become. He likened the potential event to the Lisbon earthquake of 1755, which resulted in a wave up to 10 metres high hitting the Portuguese capital following an earthquake with a magnitude estimated to be between 8.5 and 9 on the Richter scale.

This tsunami killed around 100,000 people.

Sir David said the mega-tsunami could hit with very little warning, leaving people limited time to get to safety. People would “die in their cars” as they tried to escape.

Sir David said: “After the landslide in the Canary Islands, it would take roughly six hours for the wave to reach the UK.

“That might sound like a long time to give people to escape, but there are other places where people had longer to flee yet many people still died.

“What would happen in London is that everyone would get into their cars all at once to escape the city and they’d block all the roads.

“People wouldn’t be able to get out in time and they would essentially die in their cars.”

As well as potentially killing hundreds of thousands of people, Sir David said there could also be ecological consequences in London.

He said: “Salt water coming in from the sea could contaminate some fresh water reserves that Londoners use. There would be some ecological damage to wildlife too.

“On that note, the salt water would also saturate the soil around London. The change in salinity levels would mean farmers wouldn’t be able to grow crops in the area for many years afterwards, as has been seen in other tsunami-affected regions.”

Sir David emphasised the need for the UK to prepare and for Londoners to be educated and informed about what to do in the event of a tsunami.

Sir David also suggested a solution to prevent a potential mega-tsunami. He proposed building “two asymmetrical islands” artificially in the Thames Estuary. This would absorb the force of any potential tsunami, ensuring that the wave does not reach London.

WatNews adds. the Natural History Museum says “climate has changed continually throughout Earth’s history because of natural causes. But today’s climate change is caused by human activities.

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