In case Londoners needed another reason to feel existential dread and crippling environmental anxiety, a top scientist has warned that a ‘mega tsunami’ could hit London ‘at any time’. Doomsday preppers, this is your time to shine.
Sir David King, the former chief scientific adviser to the UK government and founder of the Centre for Climate Repair at Cambridge University, told My London that a huge tidal wave could sweep up the River Thames at any point, causing massive devastation to the city.
King said the wave would be triggered by a landslide in the Canary Islands in which a ‘mass of rock the size of the Isle of Man’ would fall into the Atlantic ocean. The tsunami would also destroy UK coastal cities like Brighton, Southampton, Bournemouth, Portsmouth and Exeter.
People wouldn’t be able to get out in time and would essentially die in their cars
Although London is more inland than these cities, the river Thames would allow the wave to gather size and momentum. ‘In the case of tsunamis, the shallower the waters are, the larger the wave will get,’ King said. ‘Once the tsunami passes through the English Channel and into the Thames Estuary, it will grow in size and cause all sorts of destruction in the city.’
King said it would take roughly six hours for the water mass to hit London after the initial rock fall. That may sound like ample time to escape, but he explained in reality that it wouldn’t be nearly long enough. ‘What would happen in London is that everyone would get into their cars at once to escape the city and they’d block all the roads,’ he said, adding encouragingly: ‘People wouldn’t be able to get out in time and they would essentially die in their cars.’
Don’t panic, though (it’s clearly pointless, anyway), because King predicts the event happening sometime ‘over the next 10,000 years’. On the flipside, the scientist added it ‘could happen tomorrow’. King said that the UK needs to do more to prepare and is encouraging greater awareness of the risk of global tsunamis.
Better get working on that ark.
If we survive… the Elizabeth line could be extended into Essex and Kent.
In more positive news: London’s skies will be filled with beautiful hot air balloons this May.