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Why UK fears a tsunami catastrophe

File photo: A local resident and a dog walk near a ship brought ashore by the March 11, 2011 tsunami and earthquake in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture.

File photo: A local resident and a dog walk near a ship brought ashore by the March 11, 2011 tsunami and earthquake in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture.

Published Jul 18, 2013

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London - Swathes of Britain could be left totally underwater by a tsunami in the Atlantic Ocean, it has been claimed.

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An earthquake off Portugal could trigger disastrous levels of flooding along the coast of the UK, scientists have said.

The Isles of Scilly and parts of Cornwall would be worst hit if there were a repeat of the Lisbon earthquake of 1755.

Experts believe that a quake similar to the devastating one 250 years ago would send a 10ft wall of water towards the UK.

The tsunami would crash over the tip of Cornwall within a few hours – leaving much of the coast underwater and wiping the tiny Scilly Isles off the map.

The prospect of the natural disaster was raised at a meeting of the Devon and Cornwall Local Resilience Forum, which includes police, town planners and emergency services.

Members of the LRF told the forum they fear Britain could suffer its own version of the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami.

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They want an early warning system to alert bathers and people living on the coast, similar to technology used across Asia and America.

Paul Netherton, assistant chief constable of Devon and Cornwall Police and LRF chairman, said other countries have suffered by failing to plan ahead.

He told the forum, “After seeing the devastation in Japan and Thailand, we have to consider whether we do anything differently than we do now for severe weather events.

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“Tsunami are different – you don’t know they are coming and then the water keeps coming and coming.” - Daily Mail

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