By Fergal MacErlean • 24 March 2022 • 16:54
The travel advice from the Foreign Office was updated on Thursday, March 24, after the island of Sao Jorge was hit by more than 1,100 earthquakes in 48 hours.
The Portuguese Civil Protection authorities in the Azores have been monitoring an increase in seismic activity on the island of São Jorge since 19 March.
They have now activated their earthquake prevention plan and have implemented the travel warning which advises against all but essential travel to the island, the Foreign Office said.
Anyone who is already on the island of São Jorge is asked to avoid the areas of flat terrain, known locally as Fajãs, at the foot of the cliffs overlooking the sea in the Velas municipality.
Portuguese authorities are monitoring the situation, due to fears that the island’s volcano Urzelina could erupt similar to the eruption of Cumbre Vieja in La Palma last year.
The region’s CIVISA seismo-volcanic surveillance centre has raised the volcanic alert to level 4 out 5.
There is a real “possibility of eruption”, said Clelio Meneses, the regional secretary responsible for the Civil Protection authority.
“What we are doing is preparing for the worst case scenario,” Meneses was reported as saying by Reuters.
Sao Jorge, one of nine islands that make up the Azores, is home to about 8,400 people.
It is feared that the earthquakes, with a magnitude of between 1.6 and 3.3, could trigger a stronger tremor or a volcanic eruption
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Originally from Dublin, Fergal is based on the eastern Costa del Sol and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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