Many people were awoken in the middle of the night
An earthquake measuring 3.7 on the Richter scale rattled the Algarve in the early hours of this morning, with its epicentre being registered at 3.35am just four kilometres northeast of Albufeira.
According to the Portuguese Sea and Atmosphere Institute (IPMA), the earthquake was felt with maximum intensity in Albufeira and Loulé – IV/V on the Modified Mercalli intensity scale.
There are also reports of the earthquake being felt in the municipalities of Faro, Lagoa, Portimão and Silves.
Most people on social media are reporting that they were woken up by the quake and that it was “strong but quick”, having felt it for no longer than a few seconds.
Reader Sharon Dickens, who lives in Carvoeiro (Lagoa), sent us her account of the experience: “There was a noise like a huge truck rumbling by in the distance. At the same time the house vibrated, my perfume bottles rattled on the dresser and TV creaked on the wall. A dog howled outside. It was 03.35.”
Several people also received an official message from authorities stating that an earthquake had just occurred and that aftershocks may follow. The message also included advice on how to proceed, such as putting on shoes and checking for gas leaks or structural damage.
No damage has been reported by authorities so far.
According to the Modified Mercalli intensity scale, a IV earthquake is felt “indoors by many and outdoors by few”. It can awaken some people at night and can rattle dishes, windows and doors and cause cracking sounds in walls. Sensations are described as “like a heavy truck striking a building”. Standing vehicles are also said to be “rocked noticeably”.
A V earthquake, on the other hand, is “felt by nearly everyone” and awakens many people. Some dishes and windows may be broken and unstable objects may be overturned, while pendulum clocks may stop.