Majorca tsunami 2018: Is it safe to travel to Majorca and Menorca amid flooding?

The mini tsunami hit the Spanish Balearic Islands in the early hours of Tuesday morning, flooding roads and swamping popular bars.

Menorcan west coast city Cituadella, located about 40 miles away from the Love Island 2018 villa in Sant Llorenc, was smashed up by the wave as it sent beach chairs and parasols flying.

Alcudia in the north of Majorca was also flooded by the freak weather event, officially known as a meteotsunami.

No injuries were reported as people were still largely tucked up in bed.

Is it safe to travel to Majorca and Menorca amid flooding?

There are no current alerts in place to avoid travel to Majorca and Menorca at present, including those on the Foreign Office travel website.

Meteotsunamis are rare, accounting for only three percent of recorded tsunamis from 2000 BC to June 2014, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data.

Unlike in the vast majority of cases, where tsunamis are created by earthquakes, meteotsunamis are caused by a change in the atmospheric pressure which then triggers a wave.

NOAA says certain regions of the world are “more susceptible” to meteotsunamis due to factors such as “bathymetry, coastline shape, and even nearby topography influencing the development of atmospheric gravity waves”.

Spaniards have their own name for meteotsunamis using ‘rissaga’, while in Japan they are known as ‘abiki’.

Has anyone ever died due to meteotsunami?

Meteotsunamis do share characteristics with tsunamis caused by earthquakes but the size of the wave is generally much lower, so fatalities are fewer.

However, some waves have been known to reach six foot high.

Three people died in 1979 when a five-foot meteotsunami struck Nagasaki Bay, Japan.

One person blamed Tuesday’s large wave on changing global weather patterns.

Virales Mallorca, commenting below a video on Facebook showing the wave’s destruction, wrote: “Flooding in Port d’Alcudia. Climate change?”