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Meteotsunami hits several cites along Adriatic coast, Croatia


A meteorological tsunami or meteo-tsunami event was observed today in several Croatian cities along the Adriatic coast. In some places sea levels rose up to 2 meters.

According to Darko Dragojević, a member of independent Croatian meteorological organization Crometeo, who observed and reported the event in Vela Luka (Korčula), sea levels sharply rose for about 1.5 meters around 08:30 local time/CET (06:30 UTC). Although the water did not enter nearby houses, several boats were damaged.

“The damage would be much higher had this happen during the night. People realized what was happening and reacted quickly,” Dragojević said.

The event, which lasted for about 3 hours, was also observed in Stari Grad (Hvar) and Rijeka Dubrovačka where sea levels rose for 2 meters (6.5 feet).

Images courtesy of Darko Dragojević, Crometeo

See the video here.

Meteo-tsunami is rare, tsunami-like, wave phenomenon of meteorological origin. Unlike tsunamis (Japanese word meaning “harbor wave”), which are caused by earthquakes or underwater landslides, meteo-tsunamis are caused by quick atmospheric pressure variations over relatively small areas. They are created when atmospheric disturbance wave resonance matches the open sea waves. Though the wave can be only 20 cm high and hardly observed when created, it can quickly grow as it approaches the coastline and cause serious damage and loss of lives.

In normal circumstances the amplitude of atmospheric disturbance is less than 1 hPa, while in extreme cases it can be over 10 hPa.

Image and data by Crometeo.hr

Crometeo weather stations in Korčula measured strong atmospheric disturbance caused by cumulonimbus cloud passing south of Korčula island. In Vela Luka, the atmospheric pressure rose almost 4 hectopascals (hPa) in just 20 minutes. From 1007,8 hPa at 06:22 to 1011,2 hPa at 06:42 UTC.​

Image credit: Sat24/EUMETSAT

Featured image: Meteo-tsunami in Vela Luka, Korčula – Croatia. Image credit: Darko Dragojević / Crometeo


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  1. Alaska gets hit by an 8.0 and a Tsunami warning for the Alaskan coast is issued … 2 days later, Croatia gets this hybrid meteo-Tsunami. Yet no correlation? Seems like too much of a coincidence to not be related.

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