The December 28, 1908 Messina earthquake that measured a 7.5 magnitude on the Richter scale is said to be the most powerful earthquake recorded in Europe. The resulting tsunami wave was nearly 40 feet high, knocking down 90% of the buildings and killing more than 80,000 people.The cities of Messina and Reggio Calabria in Southern Italy were completely destroyed by the tsunami which forced many of the survivors to emigrate to America. 1 This disaster gives us insight into how people view tsunamis because it was unique in that it was the most powerful earthquake in Europe, not much was known about tsunamis during that time, and it triggered a large amount of climate refugees.
- “Messina Earthquake and Tsunami of 1908.” In Britannica. Last modified April 3, 2014. Accessed December 15, 2014. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1483443/Messina-earthquake-and-tsunami-of-1908. ↩