A wait and see policy is unacceptable considering the seriousness of the tsunami threat says the study on the vulnerability of the French Mediterranean coasts to tsunamis recently presented to the French Senat in order to highlight French coasts at high tsunami risk and call for stronger commitment to action.
The report classifies the most dangerous tsunami-generating zones for French Mediterranean coasts - 59 seismic zones and 20 underwater landslide zones on the French continental shelf – simulates extreme but possible events that could generate tsunamis and identifies the most vulnerable coastal areas.
Six scenarios where chosen as having the greatest tsunami-generating potential. Three earthquake scenarios:
- A 6.8 magnitude earthquake with an epicentre situated some fifty kilometres off the coast of the French Riviera in the Liguria Sea.
- A 6.7 magnitude earthquake centred in the Gulf of Lion, one hundred kilometres from Perpignan.
- A 7.8 magnitude earthquake situated 25 km North of the Algerian coast.
And three underwater landslide scenarios:
- A landslide located some twenty kilometres off the north-western coast of Corsica.
- A landslide located some fifty kilometres off the coast of Perpignan, in the area of the Lacaze-Hérault underwater canyon.
- A landslide estimated at nearly twenty-five kilometres South-East of Nice.
Simulations of these 6 scenarios indicated:
The synthesis of these 6 scenarios resulted in a first map of the French Mediterranean coast displaying the estimated level of vulnerability to tsunami.
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