Recent history records the passage of tsunamis that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, such as the one in the Indian Ocean on December 26, 2004, or the one in Japan in 2011, which caused the second worst nuclear catastrophe in history. The Mediterranean Sea region also experienced large-scale tsunamis, although the last of them happened more than a century ago.
But this does not mean that the region is not threatened, so scientists from the University of Bologna, Italy, decided to model what the catastrophe that would cause a relatively strong tsunami would be like, with the aim that the governments of the countries of the region can organize the protection of vulnerable regions.
At the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea, the African tectonic plate slides below the Eurasian plate, often causing earthquakes of not very large magnitudes, as well as volcanic activity. But if the tension between the two plates grows, that can lead to earthquakes of magnitude 7, approximately, with an epicenter near Crete and Sicily. Such an earthquake would cause strong tsunamis that would spread throughout almost the entire region, flooding the coasts where more than 130 million people live.
It turns out that it would be very difficult to warn in time about a tsunami of these characteristics, since it would spread through most of the region in just 16 minutes. The regions that would be most affected are the island of Crete, the southern part of Italy, Greece, and also Libya. And this is not unlikely, given that the region has already experienced larger earthquakes, scientists say.