What if the Storegga Slide happened again? – The 2023 North…

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+1165 – What if the Storegga Slide happened again? – The 2023 North Sea Tsunami (Explanation in Comments)

2022-08-06 14:12:14

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  1. Over 8,000 years ago the largest ever known underwater landslide took place at the Storegga shelf in the Norwegian Sea. The resulting tsunami killed unknown numbers of prehistoric humans, permanently changed the landscape of Northern Europe and possibly even created the North Sea. Following the slide, the towering submarine peaks at the edge of Europe mostly remained stable, re-enforced by the settled nature of the Earth’s climate. However, that stability was fragile.

    The summers of 2022 and 2023 were the hottest of modern times. The accelerated melting of ice in the Polar Regions, especially in Greenland, lead to increased deposition of materials from Arctic meltwater onto Europe’s northern continental shelf. The increase in pressure brought the shelf to crisis point, while the world remained oblivious to the impending danger.

    Then, on the 2nd of September 2023, it happened. An almost 6.0 magnitude earthquake occurred below the Norwegian Sea, triggering the devastating expansion of Methane clathrate into much larger Methane gas, which weakened the surrounding rocks and within seconds caused the collapse of hundreds of square miles of seabed.

    The vast displacement of rock triggered a huge wave, which reached the Norwegian coast in minutes, decimating the cities of Alesund, Kristiansund and Molde, killing thousands of people. The tsunami came without warning, and a lack of preparation meant the response by North Sea nations was completely chaotic. In the UK, local police forces were given orders to evacuate coastal areas, however word did not get around in time and many areas were left unprepared. In the Shetland Islands, over 50% of the population was killed by the tsunami – the largest per capita loss of life of any area.

    Over the following hours, the waves continued to spread out across the North Atlantic and North Sea. The east coast of the UK, and west coast of Norway were devastated by the waves, with water reaching over 20 miles inland in low-lying areas of eastern England. As the waves reached the Low Countries around the Netherlands and Germany, dykes were breached, flooding huge population centres such as The Hague and Rotterdam.

    An estimated 832,000 people were killed by the tsunami, making it the deadliest in recorded history. The United Kingdom was the worst affected area in terms of death toll, with almost 435,000 people losing their lives. However, exposed island communities such as the Faroes and Shetland were the most affected per capita, with 13% of Faroe Islanders and 51% of Shetland Islanders losing their lives.

    In the aftermath of the tsunami, rumours and theories about what had caused the event began to circulate widely. Initial guesses blamed everything from deliberate Russian attacks to black magic for the disaster. Investigations and inquiries into the causes and response to the event continued for decades, however not a single prosecution was made and the tsunami was deemed a freak event that no one could prepare for.

    The relief operation became the costliest in history, with reconstruction taking over 5 years to fully complete. The disaster almost completely destroyed the economic prosperity of Northern Europe and further cemented its place as “yesterday’s power”.

    The sheer scale and cost of the disaster shocked the world and came to be one of the defining moments of the 21st Century.

  2. The fact that almost 7 times more people died in the Faroe Islands than Iceland shows how sparse Iceland is

  3. My fictional nation, Belznia, is right in that epicentre. I might have to do something based off of this.

  4. I hadn’t heard of the Storegga Slide until now. Looking it up it’s really interesting. Thank you for the new knowledge!

  5. Denmark is unlikely to have 1million people affected. Most of the pupulation lives in Sjælland and Østjylland, generely eastern part of the country. West sea coast, has only one bigger town and that it is ok the south. It is rather sparcely populated region, the soil is a lot less fertile compared to the rest of the country.

  6. GB playing the Tank/Heavy which makes sense since Ireland would the Bard/Face if Europe was a Tabletop game adventuring party.