by Ryan Harrison
ALTHOUGH a Tsunami disaster hitting Majorca to the same degree as the one that struck in Asia last year seems impossible, it appears that if one was to strike, the Balearics would be unable to cope, according to a leading marine expert. Captain Oscar Villa has warned that the Mediterranean doesn't have the necessary technology in place to warn of a possible Tsunami and that the sea around the Balearics is most at risk. He said that a study of the Mediterranean coastline should be ordered to establish which areas would be most susceptible to flooding and also believes emergency plans should be put in place in the event of a disaster. Other scientists in the region have also joined him to urge for early warning systems to be introduced, to avoid a repeat of the Asian Boxing Day Tsunami last year, which claimed over 200'000 lives. Inadequate warning systems were partly blamed for the extent of the disaster, which directly affected 13 countries and has led to a reconstruction operation estimated to take five years, at a cost of nine billion pounds. Captain Villa's comments come at a time when beaches in Majorca and the rest of Spain are packed with the summer's tourists who, from the experience of the Asian disaster, would be first affected by the tidal wave.
“Two years ago the shock-waves from a small earthquake in N. Africa caused damage across the
Balearics...” For a Tsunami to occur, there needs to be an earthquake of no less than 6.4 on the Richter scale.
Two years ago a small earthquake in Algeria was felt in Majorca, causing limited damage across the island.
If one was to strike the Mediterranean, Captain Villa warns that the Civil Defence and Emergency Services would not be prepared.
He would like to see the Spanish government spend heavily on a tsunami warning system similar to the one which has now been introduced in the Far East following the disaster last year.


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