Cumbre Vieja, Isle De La Palma
It was a clear sunny day, a cloudless sky with sunbathers lying on the beach reading the newspaper as the grains of sand reflected radiant light from the sun, a deity central to myth and legend. Then, eyeful of the sky a change was noticed as birds disappeared and sounds of the shore were silenced. A chill filled the air as instinct informed something was approaching. The tide moved out, then a rush of surging wind and finally above the horizon was a suffocating sight, a wall of water fifty stories high, moving towards the shore. There was nowhere to run as awe and disbelief paralyzed the moment of this disturbing vision.
The tsunami on December 26, 2004, began as an earthquake off the coast of Indonesia in the Indian Ocean creating a wave that killed 300,000. The height of the wave was within the range commonly caused by the movement of the continental plates. Similar waves can only be caused by a landslide of immense proportions or from an asteroid hitting Earth.
Off the coast of Africa, toward the west, on the Isle De La Palma – last in the chain of Canary Islands – is Cumbre Vieja, an active volcano. Scientists are concerned it is showing signs that a landslide is near although when it will occur is uncertain. The displacement of water by such an event could generate a massive wave as high as 2 km, moving thousands of miles across the Atlantic Ocean, hitting the East Coast of North America, Mexico and parts of Central and South America, destroying everything in its path and changing the face of the coastline.
“The Mega Tsunami” as it is known has not received much attention and the thought of a wave the size of a sky scraper is not something anyone is prepared to envision, let alone prepare for. Up until now, it’s been left to special effects artists, but the coming of 2012 when the Mayan calender ends, the predictions of Nostradamus and others describing natural disasters – although expressed in cryptic language – are a cause for reflection. Many foretold catastrophe for this year. Add to this, prolonged drought, unusual flooding and documented melting of the ice caps to realize that perhaps the signs have arrived.
From an astrophysical perspective, on December 21, 2012 – the Winter solstice – the Sun will touch the Great Rift, the center of the galaxy, seen as a large black hole considered by the Mayans and other cultures as the cosmic womb, a symbol of transformation and rebirth, a place of immense spiritual energy. This is when the calender ends and a new cycle begins. The alignment of planets and energies influencing Earth’s crust will be unique, placing stress on the continental plates argue prognosticators and Vulcanologists but no one really knows what the effects these spacial events will have on the planet. Perhaps the impact will be physical as soothsayers portend or a subtle shift in consciousness. Only time will tell as 12/21/12 approaches and films depicting the end of the world increase as the sirens are sounded to take cover and move to higher ground, assuming there is a place to go to be safe where solace can be found. Otherwise, a final embrace from the cosmic womb and surrendering to the infinite pulse perceived as evolution can’t hurt.