New “earthquake probability” map highlights risks of Lisbon and Algarve

Investigators at Évora university have carried out a study to define the areas of Portugal most likely to suffer from earthquakes. Published in scientific journal Sismological Research Letters, it presents “for the first time” a map of Portugal’s most vulnerable regions (Lisbon, the Tejo Valley and the Algarve), and stresses that a major quake “of the same magnitude of the devastating Great Earthquake of 1755” is “very close”.

This is a reality that has seen authorities working on prevention for many years. Only recently Lisbon’s civil protection HQ announced that it would be moving to higher ground for safety reasons (click here).

But the words of Évora’s study coordinator Mourad Bezzegoud just bring warnings of the looming threat that bit closer.

Talking to national tabloid Correio da Manhã, he said: “I am trying to say we are very close to an earthquake of the same magnitude of the one registered in 1755. I cannot say when and how it will manifest. It could repeat itself in various forms, even with two or three earthquakes of differing intensities.

The Great Earthquake of 1755 levelled huge swathes of the country from Lisbon down to the Algarve, with terrible consequences, tidal waves and raging fires.

[email protected]