Authorities in the Azores have alerted the population of São Miguel island for the ongoing recurrent seismic activity which they consider to be “above normal values.”
Starting on Sunday shortly before midnight, the tremors continued throughout Monday with multiple recurrent seismic events recorded on the central area of the island. The tremors lasted through the day decreasing in frequency. No fatalities or destruction were reported.
According to the Information Center for Seismic-Volcanic Surveillance of the Azores (CIVISA) the low intensity tremors exceeded 300 with a magnitude range between 1.9 and 3.6. on the Richter scale. The epicenter is located between Lagoa do Fogo and Lagoa das Furnas.
The tremors occurred south and north across the center of the island and were felt with more intensity by the populations of Água de Pau, Povoação (south); and Rabo de Peixe and Fenais da Ajuda (north).
The president of the Government of the Azores, Vasco Cordeiro, remarked Monday that the earthquakes should be watched with caution, but without alarmism.
“It is a situation that is not unprecedented, which naturally inspires the precautions that all Azoreans already know. It should be met with the safeguards that such situation implies, but without alarmism, at least as far as the data we know at the moment,” he said.
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 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 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 live in the Azores in real time here.
paj.staff. developing news being updated.