Experts have advised Ireland to invest in an early warning tsunami system, because of threats posed by fault lines around the Atlantic.
Tom Blake, of Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies told RTÉ news, “We’re in Ireland; we’re surrounded by the Atlantic; you have magnitude 6 earthquakes in the Caribbean, in the Azores and on the Mid-Atlantic bridge.”
"Any one of them could create a tsunami at any time," he said.
Blake believes an early warning system would be in Ireland's best interests, so that if a tsunami did strike people would have time to evacuate the lowest lying areas.
Ireland was struck by a tsunami after the great Lisbon quake of 1755.
According to the Irish Marine Institute on November 1, 1755 a series of tsunamis lasting more than seven hours tore at the south west coast of Ireland “wrecking fishing boats around Kinsale” and “even damaging coastal buildings as far north as Galway Bay.”
The report advises installing safety measures similar to those adopted by Japan following the devastation caused by the tsunami there three years ago.
Model of tsunami that hit Ireland following 1755 Lisbon earthquake:
The 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tōhoku (magnitude 9) and subsequent tsunami killed over 16,000 people and caused some $30 million in damages.
A researcher from the Japanese Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology was in Dublin earlier this week. He said that the information they have collected will help people in Japan – and also neighboring countries.
“Our science and technology will provide these countries for disaster mitigation,” Dr Yoshiyuki Kaneda.
In the future, it is expected that such early warning systems will link in with smartphone technology so that they can warn people – not only that there’s a tsunami, when it’s coming and when it’s going to arrive – but where best to go to get shelter.