The deadliest tsunami in the Mediterranean occurred in AD 365 when, following an earthquake near Crete, a tsunami wave devastated the southern and eastern coasts of the Mediterranean, particularly Libya, Alexandria and the Nile Delta, killing thousands. Others stroke Sicily in 1693, Calabria-Italy in 1783 and Messina-Sicily in 1908, each of them killing more than 50.000.
The most recent earthquakes, which triggered tsunamis, are those of Izmit, Boumerdes and Aigion in the Aegean sea. On 31 December 1995, about 6 months after the lethal Aigion earthquake, a 3 m high tsunami inundated coastal areas along the southern shore of the Gulf of Korinthos in Greece. In 2003 after a submarine landslide caused by the Boumerdes earthquake in Algeria, tsunami waves up to 2 metres reached the Balearic Islands causing no injuries.
Tsunamis generated by volcanic processes are a considerable threat to coastal areas around the Aegean and Tyrrhenian Seas. On 30 December 2002, a major instability occurred on the Sciara del Fuoco slope, on the western flank of the volcanic Stromboli island. The tsunami induced by the landslide spread around the island and the surrounding Aeolian archipelago and was felt as far away as the coast of Sicily.Tsunami events occur also in areas of no or weak seismic/volcanic activity and are related to instabilities of sediments deposited on the shelf or the slope off large river mouths. The most striking example took place on 16 October 1979 in the western Mediterranean. A large slide occurred in shallow water during operations related to the enlargement of Nice airport at the Var River mouth. The tsunami, which followed the collapse, drowned the coastal zone of Nice and several people were killed.
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