SPAIN’S weather agency AEMET has activated the alert for ‘meteotsunami’ or ‘rissaga’ in some areas of the Mediterranean over the next few hours.

The calima and days of intense rainfall have now given way to a coastal phenomena known as ‘meteotsunamis.’

According to Aemet, meteotsunamis are destructive ocean waves that have the same temporal and spatial scales as ordinary tsunami waves. The waves of a meteotsunami are tiny at their origin, but can grow rapidly, with timescales ranging from minutes to hours, and can reach a sufficient size to cause considerable damage in coastal areas.

In the most common cases, sea level oscillations are between 60 and 120 centimetres, with periods of 10 minutes, but oscillations of up to four metres have been reached.

Unlike tsunamis, the origin of the meteotsunami is not seismic, it is not caused by an earthquake on the seabed. The cause is exclusively meteorological, usually driven by air-pressure disturbances often associated with fast-moving weather events, such as severe thunderstorms, squalls, and other storm fronts.


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