After the severe earthquake that Morocco suffered last Friday, the question arises as to how high the actual risk is of something like this happening in Spain. The earthquake, measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale, was also observed in some areas of Spain such as the Canary Islands, Extremadura and Andalusia.
Which areas are most at risk from an earthquake?
As a Spanish geologist from the National Institute (IGN) explains in El Confidencial There are several areas in Spain at risk of an earthquake. The expert explains in the article that the Iberian Peninsula lies in a border area where the Eurasian and African plates meet. According to him, there are relevant seismic activities in Spain, but no major earthquakes.
The most critical areas are:
- The Betic territories that make up Granada, Almería, Málaga, Murcia and Alicante. These areas are in contact between the Iberian microplate, the African plate and the Alborán microplate.
- The Pyrenees region connects two tectonic plates.
- Galicia is an area that needs to be taken into account due to its connection with the Azores Fault. Just yesterday, an earthquake measuring 2.2 on the Richter scale was registered and was felt this Sunday morning in the municipality of Laxe in A Coruña and the surrounding area.
The seismologist of the National Geographic Institute (IGN), Carlos González, explained in an interview with EFE that the possibility of an earthquake with the characteristics of the earthquake that occurred in Morocco “cannot be predicted as such” in Spain and no one can always say, when an earthquake will occur.
“What there are are hazard maps that indicate where earthquakes are expected and what their characteristics are.”
In Spain, the maps produced by the IGN show that the areas at highest risk of relevant earthquakes are the areas in between Alicante and Huelva, the Pyrenees and “a little bit” in Galicia.
“From Alicante to Huelva would be the most dangerous area, “This means that it is more likely that an earthquake will occur there, although we cannot say when it will be,” González said, adding that these maps also indicate that earthquakes in Madrid are not ruled out but these would be of a smaller magnitude than in the southern area.