Wednesday, May 9, 2018


I read about this story everywhere and had a memory of a story I read many years ago by Jack Du Brul.
The largest of these reached a magnitude of 3.2 on the Richter scale around 22 miles (35km) from Puerto La Luz, Port of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Most of the earthquakes, of which 94 were located by earthquake experts, hit a region between Tenerife and Gran Canaria along a known underwater fault line.
A number of the tremors rocked Mount Teide, sparking concerns among locals that the volcano may erupt, but scientists said these secondary quakes were triggered by nearby activity. (I bolded this bit)
From Du Brul's novel, Deep Fire Rising, an apocalyptic look at a volcano in the Canary Islands.
"That year, the Cumbre Vieja volcano, which dominates the southern third of the island, erupted over the course of several days. This in itself isn't unusual. She generally pops every two hundred years or so. What made the 'forty-nine eruption unusual is the four-meter-wide crack that appeared along the center of the island. The western flank of the island, a chunk of rock about a hundred twenty cubic kilometers in size, slipped a few feet toward the sea and stopped."...
 "According to the computer modeling done a few years back, the wave will be one thousand feet tall and would have already traveled outward at least sixty miles in the first ten minutes after the landslide. It would cross the ocean at about five hundred miles per hour, radiating in all directions. North Africa would be hit first. The wave will have abated to three hundred fifty feet by then and fortunately that part of the continent is sparsely populated. Loss of life would be minimal. Next would be Spain, Portugal and then southern England. The wave crest at this time will top out at over a hundred feet, still carrying enough energy to ricochet and radiate through the English Channel and completely drown all of the Netherlands."
Well, you should read the book to find out what that tsunami does when it reaches the Americas. You can see that reasonable people still fear another eruption. As Du Brul finished in his Author's Note:
As for the Canary Island La Palma—well, this is where I started working my imagination. If the island stays true to its history of eruptions, the Cumbre Vieja volcano will become active again in the next two hundred years or so. The eruption will further fracture the island's western flank and it is probable that the trillion-ton slab of rock will crash into the Atlantic. The devastation to the United States, Europe and Africa described by Mercer will occur. The truly fictional element of Deep Fire Rising is that there is something that can be done to stop it. There isn't.
But I'm sure there's nothing to worry about.


Brig said...

If that is supposed to be my biggest concern, I'm not going to worry about it.
Besides the fish are biting...

HMS Defiant said...

No no. I just thought it was interesting that reading those articles about the hundreds of quakes around the Canary Islands instantly recalled the vision of that huge chunk of earth splash into the sea and wipe out much of the old and new world. Du Brul wrote some interesting books and I enjoyed his protagonist and his side kick. They reminded me of Travis Mcgee and his sidekick.