A mysterious 'tidal wave' that occurred along Ireland's south coast could have been caused by an underwater earthquake.
The tidal rush was observed in both Waterford and Wexford during low tide at 3:40 pm for a period of 20 minutes.
Waves were observed along the coastline and further inland with reports of a 2-metre swell at the New Ross Marina. In Waterford, a local reported a 'wet line' two feet above the tide mark.
Tsunami in West Cork? At 1540 on Saturday last, at low tide, harbours in West Cork abruptly drained. Union Hall saw water levels drop 70 cm in 5 mins. Normal tides change at about 1 cm per minute. In the aftermath, there was some big seiching. pic.twitter.com/5zayo9xg0b
— Gerard McCarthy (@ger_the_sea) June 19, 2022
The unusual event was more widely reported along the Cork coast. Speaking to The Irish Times, local chartered boat operator David Edwards likened the sudden tidal withdrawal to that of a tsunami: “I saw local people were all looking at the water and it was clear something very strange was happening. The water was rushing out like a river. I’d never seen anything like it before. The first thing you think is ‘tsunami’ and to be honest if it was going any faster I think we all would have been heading for the hills.”
While the cause of the event is yet to be confirmed, The European Mediterranean Seismological Centre recorded a 2.6 magnitude earthquake at 11.28 am Irish time west of Portugal about 1,900km southwest of Ireland.
Valencia's Coastguard Station, meanwhile, cited a combination of northerly winds and high tides as a possible contributing factor.