Among the Italian regions, the Messina Straits are one of the most exposed to large tsunami attacks. Tsunami catalogues (e.g. Tinti and Maramai, 1996) report several disastrous events hitting the Straits generated both locally, such as the December 28 1908 tsunami, and in the adjacent regions (e.g. the tsunami following the 1693 eastern Sicily earthquake to the south, and the 1783 event generated in the Tyrrhenian Calabria to the north). In this contribution we will put our attention on the December 28, 1908 earthquake generated tsunami, which was the last catastrophic event of this kind to have hit the Italian coasts. The parent earthquake had an estimated M≅7.2 magnitude and produced catastrophic effects in an area as large as 6000 km2 (Boschi et al., 1995): Figure 1 shows the region that suffered the highest damage. The two most important towns facing the Straits, Messina and Reggio Calabria (stations 35 and 8 in Figure 1, respectively), were completely destroyed, and very severe damage was produced in all southern Calabria and in the northeastern part of Sicily. The estimated total number of victims was around 80000, 2000 of which produced by the tsunami that followed the earthquake (Boschi et al., 1995). The initial water movement observed along both sides of the Straits was a significant retreat, followed by a violent sea attack that struck the coasts with at least three big waves (Tinti and Maramai, 1996). In some places the impact of the water waves was so violent that the rubble of the buildings destroyed by the earthquake was completely swept away (Boschi et al., 1995).
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- Impact of Large Tsunamis in the Messina Straits, Italy: The Case of the 28 December 1908 Tsunami
- Springer Netherlands