Ireland will launch its tsunami alarm system in the near future.
Geologists have warned that the country’s position in the Atlantic means the southwest coast would be the first to be hit by tsunamis caused by earthquakes in the Caribbean.
"When an earthquake occurs in this region we will be able to record the shockwaves and see them in real time,” Tom Blake, an experimental officer at the Dublin Institute, told the Sunday Times.
“Ultimately, the system could send an automatic text message to our phones which we could then analyze. If an earthquake is a magnitude of 6.5 or more on the Richter scale, we would then decide to issue a tsunami alert. If there was one in the Caribbean, it would take just 11 minutes for us to track the shockwaves in Ireland.”
The institute is seeking to create an early-warning system after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed over 220,000 people in Asia.
The Times report says that giant waves could also reach the country within two-and-a-half hours of a volcanic eruption on the Canary Islands.
Research shows that Ireland was hit by tsunamis on at least three occasions in the past 250 years.
In one case, in 1755, waves up to 40 feet reached Kinsale after an earthquake in Lisbon in Portugal killed 70,000 people caused an accompanying tsunami.