Mediterranean countries need to prepare for tsunamis

Mediterranean countries should not be complacent and assume the Med won't be affected by a tsunami, says UNESCO

The UN Ocean Conference takes place in Lisbon from 27 June to 1 July. Delegates will hear from scientists who calculate that within the next 30 years there's a 100 per cent chance of a tsunami occurring in the Mediterranean - the consequences of which could be devastating

Although tsunamis happen less frequently in the Mediterranean than in other regions of the world, authorities underestimate the gravity of the tsunami threat in this region, and surveys show Mediterranean populations are not sufficiently alert to the dangers. 
 
The level of risk is calculated by taking into account both the likelihood of a destructive wave, and the number of people who would potentially be impacted by it. The Mediterranean coast is highly developed in terms of population, built infrastructure and tourism relative to other coastal areas in the world such as the South Pacific, so people need to understand what to do to lessen the impact of a tsunami and how to protect themselves should the worst happen.

UNESCO, a UN organization, says coastal populations need to be trained to prepare for tsunamis and authorities need to develop a new type of tsunami alert system designed to respond to underwater seismic activity.