Aerial view of São Jorge with the westernmost headland of Ponta dos Rosais in the foreground. (© José Luís Ávila Silveira/Pedro Noronha de Costa)

São Jorge island still shaking

…but number of quakes per day ‘falling off’

The abnormal seismic activity registered on the Azores island of São Jorge continues to this day.

Since the start of the seismic-volcanic crisis on March 19, 25,000 quakes have been logged on the island – 255 of them felt by local populations.

In the last few days, geologists were at one point fearing the ‘total destruction’ of Velas – the town closest to the abnormal activity – but since then quakes have levelled off to roughly 800 per day, and they are remaining 10-13 kms underground, José Madeira of FCUL (the Lisbon Faculty of Sciences) has told Sol online.

The island continues at level 4 of the volcanic alert scale (level 1 being ‘state of rest’ and level 6 being ‘eruption underway) – more than 2,500 people have been evacuated from Velas, and authorities have a wider evacuation plan ‘ready to implement’.

In other words, the situation in terms of risk is still far from over.

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