Portuguese American Journal

January 19: Recurrent seismic activity recorded on São Miguel – Azores

The Center for Seismic-Volcanic Surveillance of the Azores (CVISA) has recorded today, January 19, two seismic events of moderate intensity on the São Miguel island.

The first seismic event, magnitude 4, 1, on the Richter scale, epicenter located at 29 miles west/norwest of Mosteiros, was felt at 08:45 local time, in the Ponta Delgada district.

The second seismic event, magnitude 2, 8, on the Richter scale, epicenter 7 miles southwest off Água Retorta, was recorded at 11:31 local time.

The Azores are sitting on the so called “Azores triple junction” area where the North American, Eurasian and African plates meet. This area is responsible for frequent geological and volcanic activity on the islands.

The most recent significant earthquake to hit the Azores in recent years occurred on January 1, 1980, measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale. The quake killed 61 people and injured over 400, causing severe damage on the islands of Terceira and São Jorge. It also shook the islands of Pico and Faial.

The last major volcanic eruption was in 1958 in Capelinhos, Faial island, destroying 300 houses and causing the evacuation of 2,000 people. Earthquake occurrences are common in the Azores, for the most part registered at sea and not felt by the population.

Follow the seismic activity in the Azores in real time here.