University of Portsmouth scientists find proof of tsunami on island

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SCIENTISTS at the University of Portsmouth have found geological evidence that historic tsunami waves have swept over Malta’s north east coasts up to 20 metres above sea level in some places.

The Portsmouth scientists, led by Dr Malcolm Bray, have spent three years examining the landforms on the north-eastern Maltese coast with colleagues from the department of geography at the University of Malta.

They identified boulders inland that had been detached from the shoreline and clifftops.

They found evidence that the historic tsunami reached onshore speeds exceeding 20 miles an hour lifting 70-tonne boulders, some of them shattering into smaller rocks as they crash-landed.

Dr Bray said: ‘What all these measurements point to is that an enormous assailing force was responsible.

‘Our calculations show the tsunami wave would probably have been at least four metres high in some places and substantially more powerful than the biggest storm waves on the islands.’