More than 1,000 small earthquakes hit Portuguese volcanic island

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LISBON (REUTERS) – Around 1,100 small earthquakes have rattled one in all Portugal’s mid-Atlantic volcanic islands in much less than 48 hours, prompting authorities to activate an emergency plan as consultants assess what they’ve described as a “seismic crisis”.

Mr Rui Marques, head of the Azores archipelago’s seismo-volcanic surveillance centre Civisa, informed Reuters on Monday (March 21) the earthquakes, with a magnitude starting from 1.9 to three.3, had been recorded on the island of Sao Jorge since Saturday afternoon.

He stated a lot of the earthquakes, which have prompted no injury to this point, have been reported alongside the island’s volcanic fissure of Manadas, which final erupted in 1808.

Sao Jorge, one in all 9 islands which make up the Azores, is residence to round 8,400 individuals and is a part of the archipelago’s central group, which incorporates the favored vacationer locations of Faial and Pico, that are additionally volcanic.

Describing it as a safety measure, Mr Luis Silveira, the mayor of the municipality of Velas, the place a lot of Sao Jorge’s inhabitants lives, signed a doc on Monday to activate an emergency plan because of the earthquakes.

The sudden enhance in seismic exercise is harking back to the earthquake swarms detected previous to the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on Spain’s La Palma island final yr, some 1,400km (870 miles) south-east of the Azores.

Over 85 days, that eruption destroyed hundreds of properties and crops.

However, Civisa has but to determine what the sequence of tremors would possibly signify.

“It is still not possible to know the behaviour pattern of this seismic crisis,” Mr Marques informed Lusa information company.

Civisa has despatched groups to the bottom to arrange two further seismic monitoring stations on the island and to measure soil gases, an indicator of volcanic exercise.

In a press release on Sunday, the regional Civil Protection authority stated it had already contacted native mayors and fireplace models, and requested them to “remain vigilant” and assist the individuals of Sao Jorge if wanted.

It urged individuals to remain calm, keep knowledgeable and observe the suggestions of officers. Only 63 of the 1,100 earthquakes registered to this point have been felt by the inhabitants, Mr Marques informed Lusa.

“We must be a bit concerned,” Mr Marques informed Antena 1 radio station. “We should not raise an alarm but we will be attentive to the evolution of the situation.”

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