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La Palma volcano caldera.

The La Palma Demolition Project is a proposed military demolition of the La Palma volcano caldera located on La Palma island in the Canary Islands.

Mega-Tsunami

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC 2 Channel) transmitted “Mega-tsunami; Wave of Destruction”, which suggested that a future failure of the western flank of the Cumbre Vieja would cause a "mega-tsunami." Day et al. (1999) and Ward and Day (2001) hypothesize that during a future unascertained eruption, the western half of the Cumbre Vieja – approximately 500 km3 with an estimated mass 1.5 x 1015 kg – will catastrophically fail in a massive gravitational landslide and enter the Atlantic Ocean generating a so called "mega-tsunami." The debris will continue to travel, as a debris flow, along the ocean floor.

A map depicting the tsunami's path across the Altantic.

Computer modelling indicates that the resulting initial wave may attain a local amplitude (height) in excess of 600 metres (1,969 ft) and an initial peak to peak height that approximates to 2 kilometres (1 mi), and travel at about 1,000 kilometres per hour (621 mph) (approximately the speed of a jet aircraft), inundating the African coast in about 1 hour, the southern coast of England in about 3.5 hours, and the eastern seaboard of North America in about 6 hours, by which time the initial wave would have subsided into a succession of smaller ones each about 30 metres (98 ft) to 60 metres (197 ft) high. These may surge to several hundred metres in height and be several kilometres apart but retaining their original speed. The models of Day et al and Ward and Day suggest that it could inundate up to 25 kilometres (16 mi) inland. This would greatly damage or destroy cities along the entire North American eastern seaboard, and tens of millions would be killed as Boston, New York City, Washington D.C., Miami, and many other cities that are located near the Atlantic coast are leveled.

Demolition

The demolition of the Cumbre Vieja would be controlled in a manner that it would be separated from the island and shifted into the ocean. The operation would take nearly two years. Companies including Infrastructure Advancement Corporation have offered assistance to the project. It would be initially lead by the Union of Everett's Marine Corps army of engineers. The first part of the operation to be approved was the relocation of approximately one third of the island's population from the western half of the island. Over a period of four months, over 25,000 people would be shifted to the east side of the island. The second phase would be the demolition project to separate the targeted chunk of land from the island through blasting and water pumping, which would take almost six months. Once the section was separated from the island, it would be slowly shifted with machinery and water pumping from the island in a west direction. The mass would be shifted into the ocean for a duration of one year until it settles on the ocean floor. When completed shifting, the land mass would add a significant chunk of new land area for the island to develop on which includes the massive left behind flat land area from where the chunk initially shifted from. The shifting process is expected to send a series of extremely small tsunamis towards the eastern North American seaboard and Caribbean islands for the duration of the year reaching maximum heights of four to six inches and the shifting of nearly 100 square miles of land area will rise ocean levels by millimeters.

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