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Normally, one
should expect about
40 Richter 6.0 or
greater events, but
there are only 23,
the bulk of which
are outside of Italy.
The only event
greater than 7.0 was
a 7.2 on 1/17/1983 in
the lower right near
Kefallinia. The two
dots to its north are
aftershocks (5.6 on
1/19 and a 6.0 on
Of interest to tsunami simulators is the prospect of a major marine event either in the
Tyrrhenian Sea (north of Sicily and east of Sardinia) or even offshore of Tunisia and
northeastern Algeria such that a tsunami slams into the Tiber River. For millenia, the
Tiber (at more than 400 km the third longest river in Italy) has flowed southwest from the
Apennine Mountains (roughly east of the northern tip of Corsica) past Rome. As late as
2008, Tiberian floods have once again caused misery. Siltation has been a challenge for
centuries, and it complicates what a tsunami would do. Rome itself has 2.7 million people,
with an additional 1.5 in the metropolitan area. The Eternal City is a major rail, road and
air hub. In 2000 Italian ports moved nearly seven million TEUs - were it not for the
disturbances to the south, we would have expected eleven million TEUs this year. We
would expect most Tyrrhenian Sea tsunamis to temporarily reverse the flow of the Tiber
and flood Rome and areas to the northeast.