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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Tsunami Alert Efficiency in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea: The 2 May 2020 Earthquake (Mw6.6) and Near-Field Tsunami South of Crete (Greece)

1
International Society for the Prevention & Mitigation of Natural Hazards, 10681 Athens, Greece
2
Department of Geology & Geoenvironment, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, 15784 Athens, Greece
3
Earthquake Planning and Protection Organization, 154 51 Neo Psychiko, Greece
4
Fire Brigade Department, Crete, 72200 Ierapetra, Greece
5
National Steering Committee for Earthquake Preparedness, Tel-Aviv 61171, Israel
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
GeoHazards 2020, 1(1), 44-60; https://doi.org/10.3390/geohazards1010005
Received: 1 July 2020 / Revised: 26 July 2020 / Accepted: 27 July 2020 / Published: 30 July 2020
The Mediterranean tsunami warning system is based on national monitoring centers (Tsunami Service Providers, TSPs) and operates under the IOC/UNESCO umbrella. For the first time we evaluate in depth the system’s performance for improving its operational effectiveness in conditions of extremely narrow time frames due to the near-field tsunami sources. At time 10 (± 2) min from the origin time, to, of the 2 May 2020 (Mw6.6) earthquake in Crete, the Greek, Italian and Turkish TSPs sent alerts to civil protection subscribers. A small tsunami (amplitude ~16 cm a.m.s.l.) of magnitude Mt6.8, arriving at south Crete in ~17 min from to, was documented from tide-gauge records and macroscopic observations. The analysis of the upstream alert messages showed that the tsunami alert efficiency is not adequate, since (1) earthquake parameters of low accuracy were used for the initial message, (2) alerts were issued after some forecasted wave arrival times had expired, (3) alert messages are characterized by various discrepancies and uncertainties. Our calculations showed that the upstream component improves if the alert time is shortened by a few minutes and the initial earthquake parameters are more accurate. Very late procedures were noted in the Greek civil protection downstream component, thus rendering response actions useless. In Israel, a bit more time was available to the authorities for decision making. A drastic improvement of the downstream component is needed to achieve timely alerting for local authorities and communities. View Full-Text
Keywords: near-field tsunamis; Mediterranean warning system; 2020 earthquake and tsunami; upstream alert component; downstream alert component; tsunami alert efficiency; Crete; Greece; Israel near-field tsunamis; Mediterranean warning system; 2020 earthquake and tsunami; upstream alert component; downstream alert component; tsunami alert efficiency; Crete; Greece; Israel
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MDPI and ACS Style

Papadopoulos, G.A.; Lekkas, E.; Katsetsiadou, K.-N.; Rovythakis, E.; Yahav, A. Tsunami Alert Efficiency in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea: The 2 May 2020 Earthquake (Mw6.6) and Near-Field Tsunami South of Crete (Greece). GeoHazards 2020, 1, 44-60. https://doi.org/10.3390/geohazards1010005

AMA Style

Papadopoulos GA, Lekkas E, Katsetsiadou K-N, Rovythakis E, Yahav A. Tsunami Alert Efficiency in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea: The 2 May 2020 Earthquake (Mw6.6) and Near-Field Tsunami South of Crete (Greece). GeoHazards. 2020; 1(1):44-60. https://doi.org/10.3390/geohazards1010005

Chicago/Turabian Style

Papadopoulos, Gerassimos A.; Lekkas, Efthymios; Katsetsiadou, Katerina-Navsika; Rovythakis, Emmanouil; Yahav, Amir. 2020. "Tsunami Alert Efficiency in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea: The 2 May 2020 Earthquake (Mw6.6) and Near-Field Tsunami South of Crete (Greece)" GeoHazards 1, no. 1: 44-60. https://doi.org/10.3390/geohazards1010005

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