According to an article in the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research by Dr. Simon Day of the Benfield Greig Hazard Research Centre at University College, London, one side of the Cumbre Vieja volcano in the Canary Islands is unstable and could collapse during an eruption.

A collapse would result in a 130-foot tsunami striking the US east coast and inundating the Carribbean. The wave would surge as far as twelve miles inland. The initial wave would be over 2,000 feet high, but would subside as it crossed the Atlantic. It would still result in the largest natural disaster in US history.

How likely is this to happen? Likely enough that people living on the US east coast and in the Carribbean should take notice if Cumbre Vieja begins to erupt. Any sign that the flank of the volcano is about to collapse should trigger evacuation plans.

Dr. Day believes that water trapped in the western flank of the volcano could cause it to fall away during an eruption. Cumbre Vieja erupts every few decades.

For the BBC News Story, click here.

For the story from the New Scientist, click here.

To learn more about the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, click here.

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