Editors note: Please correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this the island geologists predict could potentially wipe out the U.S. East Coast by tsunami when the west side of the island fractures off into the ocean? Apparently there’s a fault line, or fissure of some sort that’s expected to break if seismic or volcanic activity in the area is strong enough.
About 10 years ago or so, I remember watching a National Geographic or Discovery Channel program that covered this topic, so this is a very real threat. They said that if this landslide happens that the tsunami created from so much mass, could potentially be one mile high or more.
If you look at the map below you can see a clearly defined line running down one side of the island…now remember a couple months ago the caller on Coast-2-Coast who claimed his neighbor in the military told him to move away from the East Coast? Wonder if he new something the rest of us don’t…
On Friday, the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Government Security Canary convened the first ever meeting of the Steering Committee and Volcanic Monitoring, reflected in the Specific Plan Protection Civil and Emergency for Volcanic Risk, given what it described “the significant increase in seismic activity”.
A statement (translated from Spanish) issued following the meeting outlined: “This committee met this morning (Friday) at the headquarters of the Directorate General Security and Emergency Tenerife, established after the assessment of information gathered from seismic and volcanological last July 17 by the National Geographic Institute (IGN) and Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands, the situation is total normal for the green light for the information population, activating mechanisms for monitoring and oversight needed to coordinate the actions of self civil population and information contained in the Plan.”
“According to data provided by the seismic monitoring station IGN’s located in Valverde, one can conclude that from the noon on July 17 there has been a significant increase of low magnitude seismic activity in the municipality of Border of the island of El Hierro. To improve the location of this activity, has deployed a seismic network densification operational since July 21 has helped increase the number of earthquakes located, and can be viewed here“, the statement added.
El Hierro, a 278.5 km2 island, is situated in the most southwestern extreme of the Canaries. The origins of the island date back some 100 million years. After three successive eruptions, and consequent accumulations, the island emerged from the ocean as an imposing triangular pyramid crowned by a volcano more than 2,000 metres high.
The volcanic activity, principally at the convergence of the three ridges, resulted in the continual expansion of the island. A mere 50,000 years ago, as a result of seismic tremors which produced massive landslides, a giant piece of the island cracked off, crashed down into the ocean and scattered along the seabed.
This landslide of more than 300km3 gave rise to the impressive amphitheatre of the El Golfo valley and at the same time caused a tsunami that most likely rose over 100 metres high and probably reached as far as the American coast.
According to ElHierro.com: “Although over 200 years have elapsed since the last eruption, El Hierro has the largest number of volcanoes in the Canaries with over 500 open sky cones, another 300 covered by the most recent outflows, and some 70 caves and volcanic galleries, notably the Don Justo cave whose collection of channels surpasses 6km in length.”