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Authors: Salamon, A.* 
Rockwell, T.* 
Guidoboni, E.* 
Comastri, A.* 
Title: A critical evaluation of tsunami records reported for the Levant Coast from the second millennium BCE to the present
Issue Date: 2012
Series/Report no.: 3-4/58 (2009-2010)
DOI: 10.1560/IJES.58.2-3.327
Keywords: tsunami
Eastern Mediterranean
hazard assessments
Subject Classification05. General::05.08. Risk::05.08.01. Environmental risk 
Abstract: We present here a compilation of known, reliable, historically documented tsunamis that have affected the Levant coast between about the 14th century B.C. in Syria, up through the 1956 Jaffa tsunami. The list is based on a careful review of published studies and catalogs that have previously reappraised the original contemporaneous sources. In total, 23 events are included within our compilation, whereas 40 other events were found questionable and excluded. We first describe the dependable tsunamis in detail, including their probable source, whether they were generated from a close or distant earthquake source, or whether they were likely the consequence of an earthquake-triggered submarine slump. This is followed by a critical evaluation of the dubious (uncertain) tsunami reports, as an aid to future investigations that may include a search for new data, fieldwork, modeling and hazard assessments. Next, the list is parameterized in accordance with the format used by the tsunami catalog of the European community. Finally, the historical descriptions are used to assess the impact and effects caused by the tsunamis. The most regularly mentioned (about 90%) is a significant change in sea level. Damage and loss of life in coastal cities and harbors are reported for only one third of the events, leading to the conclusion that the majority of tsunamis on the Levant coast may have resulted in only moderate to no damage. Yet, this is not to mean that the Levantine coast is not at risk. The modern coastline is now far more populated and developed than before, and a similar tsunami that resulted in only moderate damage in the past might be more disastrous in the same location at present.
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