Fake news: No megatsunami headed for East Coast after Canary Islands volcano eruption

A fake megatsunami map making the social media rounds this weekend.

Fake and misleading social media posts about a megatsunami possibly hitting the East Coast popped up Sunday after a volcanic eruption in the Canary Islands.

Experts say it’s just the latest scare involving a story that’s been around for years.

It all started back before 2011 with a peer-reviewed paper claiming that a flank collapse of the volcano that erupted on La Palma in the Canary Islands could generate “a megatsunami that would initially be about 1,000 metres high, and would still be about 50 metres high when it reached for example the eastern seaboard of the USA,” according to the website Advancing Earth and Space Science.

For reference, 1,000 meters would be over 3,000 feet high and 50 meters over 160 feet high.

While the flank could collapse, the chances of it causing a mega tsunami are slim to none, experts say.

“While not impossible it’s like worrying about a meteor hitting your house,” wrote Brad Panovich, a meteorologist in Charlotte, N.C.

Sunday’s eruption on the Spanish island in the Atlantic Ocean was the first in 50 years and prompted authorities to evacuate thousands as lava flows destroyed isolated houses and threatened to reach the coast, the Associated Press reported.

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Kari Pugh is digital director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, 94.5 WCMS and News Talk 92.3 WZPR. Reach her at kpugh@jammediallc.com