Etna is about to collapse, spelling devastation over the Maltese Islands… or so some scientists claim. Discussion on whether or not Etna crumbling will definitely result in a tsunami has been uncertain, to say the least, and Malta’s implication in the whole affair has been even more unsure.
TVM recently reported that Malta and Italy are jointly monitoring earthquakes and tsunamis in the Mediterranean. We’re shaking.
Scientists who observe the volcano, including the head of the University of Malta’s geo-science department, Pauline Galea, have been able to discover that the gravitational pull of the underwater slopes, which occurs far from the summit of the volcano, is what is causing Etna to move towards the sea.
Though this research is groundbreaking in geological circles, it’s raising concern among the Maltese. Scientists are unable to confirm what this new finding means for the surrounding islands, namely Lampedusa, Malta, and Sicily itself.
“It does not mean this will happen tomorrow; we cannot say with certainty that this will happen, however in such geological structures there is always the chance of an event which may be catastrophic” – Dr Pauline Galea
Of course, it’s important to note that the original video bringing this whole Etna-triggered tsunami issue to light didn’t really say that destruction is imminent.
“It could happen in 10 or 100 or 100,000 years – we can’t tell,” said Dr Morelia Urlaub from Geomar Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research. “This movement is important to study as it could lead to a catastrophic collapse of the volcano. There is much more research to be done,” she said, saying it is essential that people are “aware there is a hazard, and keep an eye on Etna’s flank”.
In an article posted to the academic journal ‘The Conversation’, John Murray, one of the leading authors of the research, said “Unfortunately, we don’t yet have enough detailed knowledge of the build-up to such events to make meaningful predictions about specific volcanoes. So, […] we still can’t give an indication of when or even if this will actually happen.”