Vila do Bispo receives 5th Tsunami International Field Symposium

Days before the Algarve was shaken by a 3.6 magnitude earthquake, the wind-blown rural borough of Vila do Bispo received the 5th International Tsunami Field Symposium 2017 – an event that brought together around 80 seismologists, geologists and geo-archeologists dedicated to the study of natural phenomena known these days as ‘tsunamis” (tidal waves).

The symposium convened in Lisbon, but as website Algarve Press explains, it involved a field trip to the Algarve taking in the wetland areas in Boca do Rio (Budens) and Martinhal (Sagres). These “preserve examples of the tsunami registered during the great earthquake of 1755” in which massive devastation hit Lisbon, parts of the Alentejo and the Algarve.

Indeed, Boca do Rio’s tsunami heritage has made the area a “study reference of global importance”, adds Algarve Press, saying it has “particularly” attracted investigators attached to the University of Lisbon’s Sciences Faculty.

Last week’s field trip by saw trenches dug into the ground to expose levels of sedimentary deposit generated by the tsunami of 1755, and at the same time, stratographic samples were taken to be integrated in Vila do Bispo’s ongoing museum project, led by State entity EPAC (standing Equipamento Público de Ação Cultural / Public Equipment of Cultural Action).

The event was celebrated by the council for bringing renewed focus on the historic importance of Vila do Bispo.

The symposium posters will now be used in future initiatives and taken to schools by Civil Protection when the entity embarks on awareness and information initiatives.

Meantime, the symposium’s participants were also taken to other areas of the Algarve, including the birding paradise of Salgados in the borough of Silves, and the barrier islands of Ria Formosa.

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