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Earthquake of 4.1 registered in Nazaré’s famous canyon, west of Peniche

Slap in the middle of one of the many areas marked out for future oil and gas exploration, an earthquake measuring 4.1 on the Richter Scale shook populations in and around Peniche this Friday lunchtime.

At time of writing, weather forecasting authority IPMA had not officially confirmed that the quake 80 kms out to see in the Nazaré canyon, west of Peniche, had been felt on land, but postings on social media suggest hundreds felt it.

New communiqués will be issued, says IPMA, if the need arises.

Meantime, anti-oil and gas campaigners have been sharing the news – considering it “very relevant indeed”.

One of the many criticisms of licences handed out to fuel interests up and down the country is that offshore Portugal is prone to earthquakes, and therefore “extremely fragile” as a drilling prospect.

This summer has seen two oil consortiums, Galp/Eni and Repsol/Partex delay drilling plans for this year, but campaigners’ fears are that this is simply a short-term retreat in a long-term strategy that even includes deep-sea mining of the ocean bed (click here).

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com