Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa traveled to the island of São Jorge on Sunday to convey the message of “serenity and tranquility” to the residents. The Azores recorded more than 14,000 earthquakes in one week.
Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa traveled to São Jorge island in the Azores on Sunday to convey a message of “serenity and calm” to local residents in the face of the dangers of a volcanic eruption after a series of low-magnitude earthquakes. “People need to keep calmHe said during a short visit to the island, which is one of nine islands in the Azores archipelago, located in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, 1,600 kilometers from the mainland. “There is no reason to be concerned that the current situation does not justify it.”The head of state added.
Since the beginning of the “seismic crisis” that began last weekend, the Azores Cismo Volcanic Information and Monitoring Center (Civiza) has detected more than 14,000 tremors that have not yet caused any damage. About 200 of these earthquakes can be felt by residents, and the strongest earthquake recorded on March 19 reached 3.3 on the Richter scale.
Avoid unnecessary travel
This seismic activity could be caused by rising magma, and Civisa has placed São Jorge at the fourth level of the Volcanic Alert on a scale of six. The slender island is 54 km long and 8 km wide, with a population of just over 8000 people. And about 2,500 of them have already left their place of residence to settle in the eastern part of the island, which is considered safer, or to go to one of the neighboring islands.
The provincial government has advised against non-essential travel and has prepared emergency accommodation facilities, but has not yet issued any evacuation orders. “The authorities are asking us to remain calm, but how do you keep your cool in a situation like this?”Perched on the heights of the central part of the island, the epicenter of many earthquakes, Marco Bettencourt wonders to care for his fifty cows.
As its pastures lie near the site of the island’s last eruption in 1808,”It’s a bit scary but my cows are here, I can’t give up on them”explains to AFP the 33-year-old breeder, while his mother, two sisters and most of his neighbors have already left their village.
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