Even by Azorean standards the number earthquakes registered in the volcanic area of Furnas on São Miguel island on Sunday were “above normal values”.
Making this announcement, the archipelago’s centre for seismic vigilance was quick to point out that all 48 quakes were of “low level magnitude” and there have been no reports of any damages.
But as they called on the need for “calm” and prepared people for the possibility of aftershocks, a larger quake followed by replicas was felt on nearby Terceira island.
The quakes began around midnight and ended in São Miguel at 8pm local time. The strongest came at precisely 08.44am and registered 2.0 on the Richter Scale, which translates to “maximum intensity II/III” on the Modified Mercalli Scale – while a quake of 4.1 on the Richter Scale came in Terceira at 3.47 local time on Monday morning.
The epicentre of the Furnas quakes was between five and six kilometres west of the community that sits on what are technically described as three active trachytic volcanoes.
The Terceira quake was mostly felt in the Angra do Heroísmo borough – and again there have been no instant reports of damage.
Civil protection services are monitoring the situation and stress that they will be keeping people updated.
What is important is that locals remain calm and be prepared for “possible replicas”, they said.
Anyone keen to track the situation, can do so via www.meteo.pt