Mount Etna's collapse could cause devastating tsunami in Europe, warns expert

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Mount Etna, the active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily, Italy has been slowly slipping into the sea over years. Now, a new study report published in journal Science Advances has revealed that there has been an increased movement last May, and a complete collapse would bring about devastating consequences.

Dr Morelia Urlaub, of the GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research, revealed that a movement of around 3.9 centimetres was recorded in just one week between May 12 and 20th, and it is a drastic increase from the average shift of 3-5cm per year.

As per Urlaub, the complete collapse of Mount Etna will happen much early than previously thought, and a sudden movement under the sea could cause a devastating tsunami in Europe.

"Catastrophic collapses of ocean island volcanoes or those built at the shoreline pose the largest threat as the sudden displacement of large amounts of material in water can trigger tsunamis with extreme effects. Assessing the hazard potential of catastrophic collapse requires a profound understanding of the mechanisms that cause flank movement, which is also crucial for the design of appropriate monitoring strategies," wrote the research team in the study report.

This is not the first time that an expert team is warning about the increased movement of Mount Etna. In last March, a study team revealed that Mount Etna is moving towards the Mediterranean at a very high speed.

Experts believe that the sudden movement of Mount Etna at a high speed could build up the pressure on the island which may finally result in landslides.

In the meantime, a section of conspiracy theorists on social media platforms has started alleging that the increase in movement of Mount Etna is due to the arrival of Nibiru, the alleged rogue planet which is lurking at the edge of the solar system. As per these conspiracy theorists, Nibiru is pulling its strings on the earth with its massive gravity, and this is the result of the rise in natural disasters.

This article was first published on October 12, 2018