Zeus' hollow thunder boomed, awful to hear.
The horses lifted heads towards the sky
And pricked their ears; while strange fear fell on us,
Whence came the voice. To the sea-beaten shore
We looked, and saw a monstrous wave that soared
Into the sky, so lofty that my eyes
Were robbed of seeing the Scironian cliffs.
It hid the isthmus and Asclepius' rock.
Then seething up and bubbling all about
With foaming flood and breath from the deep sea,
Shoreward it came to where the chariot stood.
Euripides, The Hippolytus
1 gallon of gasoline = 1.17e8 joules
1 kiloton = 4.184e12 joules
A peacefull Aegean civilization with a history of 1500 years (since c. 3000 BC), then a gigantic volcanic eruption in around 1640 +- 12 years BC destroyed the island Thera/Santorini. It was the largest known eruption in the last 10000 years on Earth, a 600 megatons atomic bomb explosion equivalent i.e. around 50000 Hiroshima bombs or 24 Mount St. Helens. A gigantic tidal wave, a catastrophic tsunami, reached the island of Crete. Probably the population was warned by violent earthquakes and they left the island before the eruption, being more lucky than the citizens of Pompeii, but nobody yet knows what happened to the population. The volcanic ash covered the Minoan city Akrotiri (the original name is unknown) that more than 3500 years after the eruption and destruction was discovered. Since 1967 parts of Akrotiri came again into light . Due to the limited resources it will take some say centuries to expose the entire city with the current speed of excavations, others more optimistic say a few decades. In the excavated part (only 3-4 percent) already beautiful paintings were found.
The eastern building, “fresco of the Monkeys” climbing on rocks at the side of a river.
Wall Paintings (Mural Art) from the first floor of a building in Akrotiri. Wall paintings of the Antelopes and the Boxing Children, Lilies and Swallows
Santorini Decade Volcano, Greece Detailed Information about the Volcano in Santorini. A Scientific website
What is Richter Magnitude? Provides estimates about Richter Energy and TNT for seismic energy yield (is the daily solar energy received by the Earth really equivalent to Richter 12 ???)
Bob Johnstone, Who killed the Minoans, New Scientist 21 June 1997, p. 36-39