Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

The Ultimate Cruisers' Planning Tool

Navigation

You are here: Home / Countries / Spain / Spain, Balearics: Meteotsunami (rissaga) floods islands of Mallorca and Menorca

Spain, Balearics: Meteotsunami (rissaga) floods islands of Mallorca and Menorca

By Sue Richards last modified Jul 19, 2018 12:20 PM
Contributors: http://scienceglobalnews.com; www.diariodemallorca.es; www.telegraph.co.uk
A wave as high as 1.5 meters (5 feet) hit the islands of Mallorca and Menorca during the early morning hours of Monday, July 16.

Published: 2018-07-19 00:00:00
Topics: Weather
Countries: Spain

Spain, Balearics: Meteotsunami (rissaga) floods islands of Mallorca and Menorca

Ciutadella (Menorca) during a rissaga

Meteorological tsunamis or meteotsunamis - locally known as Rissagasare hazardous long ocean waves, which have the same frequencies and spatial scales as tsunami waves.

However, they are not related to seismic activity, volcanic explosions or submarine landslides, but to atmospheric forcing: pressure jumps, atmospheric gravity waves, frontal passages, squalls, etc. Development of a meteotsunami depends on several factors such as the intensity, direction, and speed of the disturbance as it travels over a water body with a depth that enhances wave magnification. Like an earthquake-generated tsunami, a meteotsunami affects the entire water column and can become dangerous when it hits shallow water, which causes it to slow down and increase in height and intensity. Even greater magnification can occur in semi-enclosed water bodies like harbors, inlets, and bays

Rissagas typically happen several times a year in the region, but many go almost unnoticed. Monday's however was on the extreme side.

The 1.5m wave hit numerous ports along the coasts of both islands.

Particularly affected in Mallorca were Puerto de Alcudia, Andraitx, Porto Colom, Porto Cristo and Colonia de Sant Jordi. In Mallorca Ciutadella suffered flooding and damage. All affected ports saw flooding of beaches, roads, bars and terraces with beach chairs, boats and parasols being swept away.

Ciutadella, Menorca, has suffered damage from Rissagas before. The town was damaged by significant waves in both 1984, 2006 and 2013, causing millions of pounds of damage to the harbour and boats.

Fishermen in Alcudia reported that they "had never seen "such a 'rissaga' in the bay of Alcúdia". The water level dropped by one metre in a matter of minutes and then returned flooding the seafront. The Rissaga started at 9.15 hours and lasted about two hours.

The beaches were still relatively empty when the event took place, however a German tourist walking on the beach at Porto Petro was swept out to sea and died.

Typically during a Rissaga, a sudden rise and fall in sea level occurs in a very short time (minutes or even seconds). The following video links of Monday's event give a good indication of what can happen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RSaXtO7NGE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f--mtcOMY98

In Sicily meteotsunamis are known as “marrubbio” and in Malta “milghuba”In the Canaries they are known as "Mareas del Pino" because they occur every year coinciding with the festival around September 8. In many other parts of the globe, such as the Sea of ​​Japan and East China, the phenomenon is known as abiki .

The eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea is among the world locations especially endangered by meteotsunamis. The best known was the Great Vela Luka Flood of 21 June 1978 in Croatia, likely the strongest known meteotsunami in the world with wave heights of up to 6 metres.

Countries
Albania
Algeria
American Samoa
Angola
Anguilla
Antarctica
Antigua & Barbuda
Argentina
Aruba
Ascension Island
Australia
Azores
BIOT (Chagos)
Bahamas
Bahrain
Barbados
Belgium
Belize
Bermuda
Bonaire
Bosnia
Bouvetoya
Brazil
British Virgin Islands
Brunei
Bulgaria
Cambodia
Canada
Canary Islands
Cape Verdes
Cayman Islands
Channel Islands
Chile
China
Christmas Island
Cocos Keeling
Colombia
Comoros
Cook Islands
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cuba
Curacao
Cyprus
Denmark
Djibouti
Dominica
Dominican Republic
East Timor (Timor Leste)
Easter Island
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Eritrea
Estonia
Falkland Islands
Faroe Islands
Federated States of Micronesia
Fiji
Finland
France
French Guiana
French Polynesia
French Subantarctic Territory
Galapagos
Gambia
Georgia
Germany
Gibraltar
Greece
Greenland
Grenada
Guadeloupe
Guam
Guatemala
Guinea-Bissau
Guyana
Haiti
Hawaii
Heard, McDonald & Macquarie Islands
Honduras
Hong Kong
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Ivory Coast
Jamaica
Japan
Jordan
Juan Fernandez Islands
Kenya
Kiribati
Kuwait
Latvia
Lebanon
Libya
Lithuania
Macau
Madagascar
Madeira
Malaysia
Maldives
Malta
Marion & Prince Edward Island
Marshall Islands
Martinique
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mayotte
Mexico
Monaco
Montenegro
Montserrat
Morocco
Mozambique
Myanmar (Burma)
Namibia
Nauru
Netherlands
New Caledonia
New Zealand
New Zealand's Subantarctic Islands
Nicaragua
Niue
Norfolk Island
Northern Marianas
Norway
Oman
Palau (Belau)
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Peru
Philippines
Pitcairn Island
Poland
Portugal
Puerto Rico
Qatar
Reunion Island
Romania
Russia
Saba
Samoa
Sao Tome and Principe
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Sint Maarten
Slovenia
Solomon Islands
Somalia
South Africa
South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands
South Korea
Spain
Spanish Virgin Islands
Sri Lanka
St Barts
St Helena
St Kitts & Nevis
St Lucia
St Martin
St Pierre & Miquelon
St Vincent & the Grenadines
Statia
Subantarctic & Southern Ocean Islands
Sudan
Suriname
Sweden
Syria
Taiwan
Tanzania
Thailand
Tokelau
Tonga
Trinidad & Tobago
Tristan da Cunha
Tunisia
Turkey
Turks & Caicos
Tuvalu
US Virgin Islands
USA
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
Uruguay
Vanuatu
Venezuela
Vietnam
Wallis and Futuna
Yemen
Add/Update Your Business
If you would like your business to be listed, or the details are wrong, please update your business
Platinum Sponsors