deiseman21 Registered User

given whats just happened in japan should we in ireland not be thinking of setting up a warning system here considering the thousands of miles of ocean surrounding us and the fact that there are two tectonic plates colliding in each other half way between america and europe (eurasian and caribbean plates).

Morf Registered User

deiseman21 said:
given whats just happened in japan should we in ireland not be thinking of setting up a warning system here considering the thousands of miles of ocean surrounding us and the fact that there are two tectonic plates colliding in each other half way between america and europe (eurasian and caribbean plates).

Not colliding. Separating. The Atlantic Ocean is slowly getting wider creating an underwater ridge on which Iceland sits. I imagine it would be a huge waste of money considering the infrequency of tectonic activity in the Atlantic.

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The last major incident was in 1755 I think. An earthquake destroyed Lisbon and a tsunami caused enormous loss of life along the Iberian coast, in addition to SW England and Galway.

There's always the threat from the Canaries; but that's about as likely to happen tomorrow as Betelgeuse is to go supernova within our lifetimes.

jd A Rod Metro

There was also a small tsunami reported at Kilmore Quay in 1854
I suspect it may have been caused by a collapse of a gravel bank or similar, given that it was so localised.

It mentions that there was also a tsunami reported there after the Lisbon Earthquake


Found this:

More than five years after the Indian Ocean disaster Ireland is finally getting ready to launch its own tsunami early-warning system.

The technology, which is government funded, will give advance notice, of up to five hours in some cases, if giant waves are caused by phenomena such as earthquakes.

Scientists plan to fit sirens or loudspeakers at some of the country’s favourite beaches to warn people to move away from the coast if a risk is identified.

The project, being worked on by the state-funded Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, is part of an international effort led by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).

The organisation is aiming to create an early-warning system in the north-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami killed 220,000 people in Asia.

“When an earthquake occurs in this region we will be able to record the shockwaves and see them in real time,” said Tom Blake an experimental officer at the Dublin Institute.

“Ultimately, the system could send an automatic text message to our phones which we could then analyse. 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.”

While the risk of a tsunami affecting Ireland is considered low, geologists have warned that the country’s position on the Atlantic means the southwest coast would be the first to be hit by tsunamis caused by earthquakes in the Caribbean.

Giant waves could also reach the country within two-and-a-half hours of a volcanic eruption on the Canary Islands.Research indicates that Ireland was hit by tsunamis on at least three occasions in the past 250 years. In one case, in 1755, waves of eight to 12 metres reached Kinsale after an earthquake in Lisbon in Portugal which killed 70,000 people with an accompanying tsunami.

The project, which has received €100,000 in state funds so far, is being worked on by the cosmic physics division of the Dublin Institute. The government funding is being used to install four real-time seismic monitoring stations in classified locations around the country, including Galway, the northwest and the southwest, by the end of this year.

The stations will monitor earthquake activity and will add to information already provided by two stations, at Met Eireann’s Valentia observatory in Kerry and one near Dublin that the institute runs for Germany.

The project, being overseen by the Geological Survey of Ireland, will also require the Marine Institute to fit four of its 20 tidal gauges with sensors to detect tsunamis. The gauges are currently dotted around the coast and are generally used to measure tides.

According to Brian McConnell, a senior geologist at the Geological Survey, gauges at the four corners of Ireland, at Malin Head, Castletownbere, Galway Bay and Dublin Bay are the most likely to be used.

Data from both sources will be sent to a centre in one of the yet undetermined countries taking part in the North Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Tsunami Warning System being formed by Unesco. The centre will pull together information from all its member countries and then send warnings out to Met Eireann and its counterparts in each country.

Geologists are monitoring the Cumbre Vieja volcano in La Palma in the Canary Islands after scientists found a threat of a large chunk of the volcano collapsing into the sea, kicking off a mega tsunami. Such an occurrence could send waves of up to 15 metres high to Ireland in about six hours.

Furthermore, a landslide risk exists off our own western seaboard along the edge of our continental shelf, McConnell said.

With the new system, Irish authorities would have four hours’ notice if an earthquake occurred in Portugal again and five hours if one struck the Caribbean. Tsunami travel at about the same speed as a 747 aircraft, according to Blake.

star gazer Moderator

The detection of the earthquakes themselves is in place Valentia detection of Japanese earthquake DIAS
It is hard to figure out what has actually been implemented along the other lines described in that article. Geological Society of Ireland
There would need to be some effort to inform people what to do in the event of getting a tsunami warning to increase its effectiveness.

dowlingm Registered User

Does Ireland have the facility to force all mobile operators to broadcast an SMS to all subscribers?

eia340600 Registered User

There's a €100,000 that could have been spent on something useful
gone down the drain .

dowlingm said:
Does Ireland have the facility to force all mobile operators to broadcast an SMS to all subscribers?

There was talk from Eamon Ryan of this about a year ago, but as far as I know nothing has happened.

star gazer Moderator

It would be great if the warning system was never used and may never even be needed in the 21st century but there are small risks of serious events. It is difficult to measure that risk though as history may not be a good guide to future events. It would seem prudent to use a relatively modest sum to make a big difference if there is a large or even a small wave to hit somewhere along the Irish coast.
There was some talk about the emergency sms ability but i don't think anything solid has been announced yet. That would be useful in many other emergency situations and not just this type.

dubhthach Registered User

Well the scenario often put forward for a Tsunami (mega-tsunami) in the North Atlantic is to do with partial collapse of La Palma island in the Canaries if there is a volcanic eruption. A major fault line developed on the island in 1949 during the eruption that year. It's theorised that half the volcano could slip into the Atlantic if there was a major eruption in the future. Result would be a 50 meter wave hitting the Caribbean/East Coast US. Such a scenario would devastate most of the coast of Ireland.

Of course it might never happen.

oharach Registered User

Of course it would wash away any hope of a Western Rail Corridor extension. And maybe a few Healy-Raes. Let's look on the positives, eh?

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dubhthach said:
Of course it might never happen.

From watching the BBC documentary, I think all geologists interviewed are absolutely certain that it will happen. The question is when. The feeling is that it will happen relatively soon (in geological terms). Any waves generated would reach the Irish coast within three hours. The US coast would bear the lion's share of the carnage that would ensue, however.

There are also other places of danger, such as the area that generated the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake, and there's also the possibility of an earthquake in the Caribbean sending a tsunami to Europe.

I think it's fair to say that a large tsunami striking Ireland would potentially destroy much of Cork, Limerick and Galway and cause tens of thousands of deaths. It would make our current worries seem very trivial indeed.

jd A Rod Metro

There is also the possibility of more localised events due to submarine landslides on gravel banks etc.

Frynge Registered User

for the most part is ireland not a fairly high sitting landmass

dubhthach Registered User

Frynge said:
for the most part is ireland not a fairly high sitting landmass

Well I've often heard Ireland's geology described as "bowl-like". Eg plenty of mountains/high points around the coast (rim) and fairly flat interior. If La Palma did spawn a tidal wave that was 50 metres high hitting NY then it could potentially be higher hitting south coast of Ireland (shorter distance). For example in Galway, Loch Corrib is only 6metres above sea level.

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