Monday, February 06, 2012

Shaken but not stirred


Even though it was well outside of living memory, the earthquake of 1829 which destroyed Torrevieja and killed 389 people still has a profound effect on people’s perceptions of earthquakes in this area.

So, when the earth started to tremble in Torrevieja yesterday at 5:43 in the morning, people went outside as a precaution. The first signs were apparently a loud noise which increased until it sounded like thunder. In some cases, furniture inside houses moved. Luckily there was no damage reported and no casualties.

The quake, which measured 3 on the Richter scale had its epicentre 3kms off the coast of Torrevieja and was 11kms under the sea. The effects were reported to be felt in Benijófar, Rojales, Los Montesinos, Almoradi, Benejúzar, Torrevieja, San Miguel de Salinas, Algorfa and Crevillent.

Torrevieja is in one of areas of greatest seismic activity in this region and often has minor quakes of up to 3 on the Richter scale.

Some say that a series of minor quakes is good because it means the earth is shifting a little at a time rather than building up to a larger 5.1 quake like the one in Lorca, 11th May 2011 which was only 1km below the town.

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