Malaga barely rumbled as 7 quakes hit in one month

IN the past month, the National Geographic Institute reports that 14 earthquakes have been felt in Spain, of which seven had their epicentres in Malaga province. Five were in Campillos, one in Torremolinos and the other in Ojen. Experts say this is quite normal, and most of the tremors are not even felt by local residents.

However, these seven are just those which are felt, because there are many more registered on the Richter Scale which are too small to be noticed.

In fact, yesterday, at 6am, a 1.7 degree earthquake was registered in Valle de Abdalajis, but it was not felt.

The Andalucian Geophysics Institute is based in Granada, and measures earthquakes on two scales. The Richter Scale, which indicates the magnitude of the earthquake, and another, which measures the intensity and the effect it has on people, objects, buildings and terrain.

Of late, the earthquake with the greatest magnitude was in Torremolinos on December 30, measuring 3.7 degrees on the Richter Scale and Grade III in intensity.

Since December, there have been 30 earthquakes in the area, of which half registered more than three degrees.

The worst earthquake in the area was in the early hours of February 25, 2004, when a 6.1 degree earthquake was registered 15 kilometres south of Al-Houceima in Morocco, where more than 230 people died.

It lasted 20 seconds and was felt in Malaga city, overloading emergency phone lines with calls although there was only slight material damage.

However, back in 1680, an earthquake damaged all but 150 of the 4,296 houses then in Malaga city, killing 70 people.

Although scientists think it is improbable, the danger that such an earthquake could shake the province again does exist.


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