Scientists Say a 300-Foot Tsunami Hit The Cabo Verde Islands 73,000 Years Ago

by Owen James Burke

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Above, a researcher chisels out a sample of a large boulder found atop a 600 foot cliff in on Santiago Island in the Cabo Verdes for dating. Photo: Ricardo Ramalho.

A new study published in Science Advances suggests that a tsunami as high as 300 feet struck the Cabo Verde Islands, off West Africa, some 73,000 years ago.

According to the sampled rock above, the flank of the nearly 10,000-foot peak of the volcano on the nearby Cabo Verdean island of Fogo collapsed, sending the tsunami roughly 30 miles across to Santiago Island which, might have seen sea level surges as high as 900 feet, or Paris’ Eiffel Tower.

But how did researchers get the idea in the first place? It has been suggested that Santiago had been struck by a large tsunami in the past, but all past samples were taken from much lower.

“I was puzzled by their origin. I didn’t know what they meant,” Ricardo Ramalho, the leader of the expedition and photographer of the photo above, told The Washington Post.

Ramalho doesn’t want to frighten the public, but wants to acknowledge that “this happened in the past, so we need to be vigilant.”

Read more at The Washington Post, and see Ramalho’s diagram of what may have happened on Santiago. –OJB

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