A variant on the earthquake/tsunami question asked over here.
I seem to recall reading that one of the Canary Islands has an unstable mountain that may fall apart suddenly into the ocean, triggering a tsunami that could seriously damage New York. Am I remembering that right?
I have trouble understanding that idea. I would have thought that the effect of even a major landslide into the ocean would have been dissipated in all directions around the site of the slide, rather than focussed in one direction. Plus, the Atlantic is a big ocean. Would the effect of the slide really be felt that dramatically on the eastern seaboard?
The scenario doesn’t involve a wave directed specifically at New York; West Africa and Western Europe would also be devastated if such a catastrophic event were to occur. Transit times to Africa, England, and the US Eastern Seaboard are estimated at 1 hour, 3.5 hours, and ~6 hours, if the doomsayers are to be believed.
The whole reason that the tsunami would be so devastating is because the rock mass in question measures about 500 cubic kilometres and has an estimated mass of 1.5 x 10^12 metric tonnes. Not the sort of thing you can just bulldoze.