The branch that separates the Maltese Islands from Sicily is called the Malta Channel and has a minimum breadth of 51 miles.
In consequence of the earthquake that destroyed Messina and Reggio (28 December, 1908), the ground has undergone alteration, and telluric movements show no tendency to cease.
On account of its depth and of the absence of tributary rivers, it contains few fish.
(3) Sea of Sicily; Sea of Malta That branch of the Mediterranean that lies between Tunis and Sicily is called the Channel of Tunis or of Sicily, and has a minimum breadth of 90 miles.
Before Italy took its present form it was part of a great body of land called by geologists Tyrrhenses, now covered by the waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, which was united to Africa In fact, a great part of the Tuscan Archipelago and of the other islands of the Tyrrhenian Sea, the masses of the Peloritan Mountains in Sicily, of Aspromonte and of Sila in Calabria, the Roian Alps, formed of archaic rocks, all are fragments of an ancient land now for the most part submerged.
Another fact that gave to the configuration of Italy its present characteristic lines was the recession of the sea from that great gulf which became the fertile plain of the Po.