Côte d’Azur to run Mediterranean tsunami alert exercise later this week

tsunami alert

Towns and cities along France’s Mediterranean coastline will be taking part in a major tsunami alert operation this Friday, with the goal of informing the public what they should do and expect to happen in the event of an actual threat.  

20 years ago, an underwater earthquake off the Algerian coast caused high waves and flooding throughout the Mediterranean, including on the Côte d’Azur and in Liguria. 

In fact, there have been around 300 recorded tsunamis in the Mediterranean region since 1600BCE. Some of them have been devastating and have had serious repercussions on the lives of people living close to the water.   

In line with World Tsunami Risk Awareness Day, which will officially take place on Sunday 5th November, nine departments along France’s Mediterranean coast have decided to organise a major tsunami warning operation on Friday 3rd November.  

What to expect

The Alpes-Maritimes and Var will join the Bouches-du-Rhône, Gard, Hérault, Aude, Pyrénées-Orientales, Haute-Corse and Corse-du-Sud for the exercise between 10am and 10.30am.  

The operation is essentially a test of the preexisting tsunami warning and information system as well as an opportunity to increase public awareness.  

The public isn’t required to do anything in particular, although feedback on the system may be requested via an online form.

People are also being asked to refrain from calling the police, emergency services, prefectures or town halls if and when they receive an SMS message linked to the tsunami alert system, as well as avoid posting or sharing “alarming” tsunami-related content on social media.  


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Photo source: Todd Turner, Unsplash