THE Port of Ciutadella in Minorca was yesterday placed on alert buy the 112 emergency service which warned that there was a very high risk of the port being hit by another “rissaga” or “meteotsunami” sea surge. Over ten million euros of damage was caused to the port earlier this month when it was hit by a five-metre sea surge and yesterday morning the Balearic meteorological office reported that it had registered a surge of two metres in the water level in the port. This latest warning, issued just after 9am, comes as the port is still recovering from the tsunami which struck on June 15 and yesterday a number of concerned boat owners decided to get their vessels out of the water as quickly as possible while port services were closed. At 6pm yesterday evening, the port was given the all clear to re-open and operations returned to normal although the alert remained in place until midnight. Met office sources in Palma said that 18 of the so-called mero tsunamis, as they are a phenomenon caused by atmospheric changes as opposed to geophysical or seismic ones such as earthquakes, registered in the port of Ciutadella so far this year and all of them between April and June. Met. office director Agustí Jansá said yesterday that there have been far more meteotsunamis this year than normal.
He explained the recent weather, much of which has been flowing into the Balearics from North Africa, creates the ideal atmospheric conditions for the meteotsunamis, also common in Malta and Scicily, to occur.
This month alone, 10 meteotsunamis have been registered.


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