On July 9, 1958, a magnitude 8.3 earthquake struck Lituya Bay, Alaska, dislodging approximately 40 million cubic yards of rock from the surrounding mountainsides. This landslide generated the largest wave ever recorded in human history. The mega-tsunami that decimated Lituya Bay up-rooted trees over 1,700 feet above sea level. Because of its remoteness only two lives were lost.
The Big Island of Hawaii is literally surrounded by under-sea landslides of colossal size. Many of these slides displaced thousands of cubic kilometers of water, generating mega-tsunamis of unimaginable dimensions. Scientists have recently identified tsunami deposits left by these incredible waves over 1,600 feet above the ancient sea level. While the most recent mega-tsunami to strike the Hawaiian Islands happened approximately 100,000 years ago, that doesn’t mean another one couldn’t happen tomorrow. When it does, there may not be any warning.
Geologists are concerned that the western flank of Cumbre Vieja Volcano on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands could catastrophically collapse during a future eruption. If this were to happen anywhere from 150 to 500 cubic kilometers of rock would plummet into the sea. The resulting mega-tsunami could be as much as 50 meters (165ft) high when it strikes the East Coast of North America. Of course this devastating tsunami would pale in comparison to The Wave.
When Stones Speak