Portuguese American Journal

June 25: Recurrent seismic activity at sea near Graciosa – Azores

The Center for Seismic-Volcanic Surveillance of the Azores (CVISA) has recorded today, June 25, multiple recurrent seismic events, of low intensity,  at sea near Graciosa island. Local CVISA observers considered the current seismic activity “above normal.”

A total of 28 seismic events – the most intense reaching magnitude 1.5 on the Richter scale – were recorded epicenter about 7 miles east/southeast off Graciosa.

Yesterday, June 24, a moderate seismic event – magnitude 5.1 on the Richter scale – was recorded epicenter about 48 miles at sea off Santa Maria island. The event was felt on land on Santa Maria and São Miguel islands.

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. Seismic occurrences are common in the Azores, for the most part registered at sea and not felt by the population.

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



The Azores (population 250,000) is a region of Portugal composed of nine islands. The archipelago discovered by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century, became an Autonomous Region of Portugal in 1976. The government of the Autonomous Region of the Azores includes the Legislative Assembly, composed of 57 elected deputies, elected by universal suffrage for a four-year term; the Regional Government and Presidency, with parliamentary legitimacy, composed of a President, a Vice-President and seven Regional Secretaries responsible for the Regional Government executive operations. The Autonomous Region of the Azores is represented in the Council of Ministers of the Central Government by a representative appointed by the President of Portugal. According to the latest US census over 1.3 million individuals of Portuguese descent live in the United States, the majority with roots in the Azores. It is estimated that over 20,000 US citizens live in Portugal.

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