Where's the tsunami? Gazans laugh at seismic online rumours

Where's the tsunami? Gazans laugh at seismic online rumours
Social media users in Gaza took to social media to poke fun at rumours that a massive tsunami was set to hit the besieged area on Friday.
2 min read
16 Apr, 2016
A moderate tsunami strikes the region once every 250 years [Twitter]

Palestinians have mocked local media reports that a tsunami was due to hit Gaza on Friday.

Speculation that a colossal wave from the Mediterranean was going to engulf Gaza on Friday at midnight surfaced online at the beginning of the month.

It stirred up enough panic from Gazans to prompt authorities to issue a statement that the news was unfounded.

As you will probably know by now, no devastating tsunami hit Gaza's shores on Friday night.

Palestinians have turned the false alarm into a source of humour, with one local heading to the beach to write a message in the sand.

Translation: After weeks of reports warning of a tsunami on the Gaza coast. We ask: "Where's the tsunami?"

Translation: Guys where's this tsunami? I think I'm gonna take a dip in the sea.

Others posted images on social media of themselves wearing snorkels and flippers waiting for the wave to come.

Some posed memes spoofing the unwarranted fears.

Translation: Waiting for the tsunami to hit.

One man told local media he welcomed the tsunami: "I swear to you I'll be the first one on the beach on Friday for the tsunami to take me off. By God, I hope it gets me out of here, you see what the situation is like, it's better we die today than tomorrow."

Rumours appeared after Israeli emergency services personnel held drills earlier this month to prepare for future tsunami warnings.

The exercise included evacuating people from beaches in Ashdod and Ashkelon - close to northern Gaza - to safe gathering points and installing public warnings on how to act if a tsunami hit.

The fears in Gaza were, however, not totally unwarranted. Moderate tsunamis are said to strike that part of the Mediterranean once every 250 years.

The last tsunami took place in 1759, when two waves hit the coasts of Palestine, Syria and Lebanon.