MORE than 270 earthquakes have been recorded in just ten days near Spain’s Canary Islands raising fears of a volcanic eruption.
The quakes have struck near Tenerife and Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands where there is a huge submarine fault between the two islands.
Spain’s National Geographic Institute said the biggest recent quake reached a magnitude of 3.2 on the Richter scale at only about 35km from Puerto La Luz in Gran Canaria.
A report said the fault line has not been active in recent times, but it added, “What if it started spewing magma again? And what if it was reactivating the Teide volcano? That would be cataclysmic.”
The Mount Teide volcano on Tenerife sits nearby. The National Park draws three million visitors yearly and the volcano’s 3,718-metre (12,198 ft) summit is the highest point in Spain and the highest point above sea level in the islands of the Atlantic. The last eruption was on November 18, 1909.
The government has been urged to step in amid calls for an urgent meeting to discuss why the quakes are happening again.
But Emilio Carreño from Spain’s National Geographic Institute, said the majority of earthquakes registered in the past few days have been of tectonic origin, and ‘are not usually associated with volcanology.’
Carreño pointed out that all earthquakes are reviewed, especially those in the Canary Islands, because “the situation of the islands makes precision in locating the source more difficult.”
He added: “Right now in the peninsula there are quite a few places where these series of quakes are being recorded.
“It is common during any single month to register between 100 and 600 earthquakes in areas like Jodar or in Jaen, which can experience between 400 and 500.”