Popular destination hit by 1,100 earthquakes in a week: tours cancelled, residents evacuated

1100 earthquakes hit popular destination in a week: tours cancelled, residents evacuated

Foreign tourists have been urged to refrain from visiting the famous Portuguese island, as the trip could be deadly for them. We are talking about the resort island of Sao Jorge, which is part of the Azores group – in just one week the island shook 1,100 times, the Portuguese media reported, and tour operators temporarily stopped selling tours to the island located in the middle of the northern part of the Atlantic.

The authorities of this zone register constant seismic activity. Despite the fact that significant damage has not yet been discovered, everyone is urged to be prepared for unexpected consequences, since the history of the island has already had sad events associated with earthquakes. At the same time, local authorities are planning to evacuate residents, especially those who are in hospital or have mobility problems. Such preventive measures will be taken in order to protect the lives of citizens.

In connection with the current situation in São Jorge, a general recommendation for tourists has been issued: “The Portuguese civil protection authorities in the Azores have been monitoring the increase in seismic activity on the island of São Jorge since March 19th. As a precautionary measure, they activated their earthquake prevention plan and advised not to make any trips to the island other than necessary.”

Furthermore, the announcement also emphasizes that “anyone already on the resort island is asked to avoid areas of flat terrain known as Fajas, at the foot of cliffs overlooking the sea in the municipality of Velas.”

In this regard, the President of the Regional Government of the Azores, José Manuel Bolieiro, stressed that due to the recent seismic activity, the local authorities will exercise extreme caution. Even though the events have not yet been significant, in terms of causing damage, it is important to be vigilant and be over-cautious, not negligent, the official added.

He also stressed that the rest of the Azores remains unaffected by seismic activity, so travelers who plan to go to another island will be able to do this and the authorities will not interfere.

The situation with tourism in Portugal

Despite the warning and the current situation on the island, Portugal's tourism sector has seen a significant improvement during this year.
The restrictions imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus have also affected the travel and tourism sector of the European country. For example, according to the latest data provided by the National Institute of Statistics (INE), in January this year, there was a threefold increase compared to the data for the same period last year. In addition, the same source revealed that in January 2022, the number of accommodations reached 853,200 and the number of overnight stays reached two million.

Help: Sna Jorge is one of the 9 inhabited islands of the Azores archipelago, part of the Central Azores group. The island is small in size: it is only 53 km long and 8 km wide. The famous volcanic mountain Esperanza is located on the resort island.

Until the end of the 20th century, the island was almost isolated, until two modern ports and an airstrip near the village of Velas were built in the 80s of the 20th century. The island has natural enemies. These are volcanic eruptions, tornadoes and earthquakes. The biggest earthquakes on the island were recorded in 1580, 1757, 1808 and 1899.

For those who care about a healthy lifestyle, we recommend reading: “The Russians were told who should not eat rolls.”

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