“There is, for now, no record of elevation of the magma blanket. But between the facts and the projectable scenarios, we have to strike a balance. It is a worrying situation, as the entire epicentre of these earthquakes is on the island, not in the sea”, said José Manuel Bolieiro.

José Manuel Bolieiro noted that the earthquakes “are very deep”.

“What is worrying is that [the earthquakes] are in the tectonic mass of the island itself,” he said.

Volcanic situation

According to José Manuel Bolieiro the seismicity recorded "has been tectonic", which means that "cracks are being created in the rock" and this "can evolve into a volcanic situation".

“Opening fissures can allow volcanic magma to find, in the fissures, an opportunity to rise”, he observed, noting that he had, at the University of the Azores, a meeting with the Center for Seismovolcanic Information and Surveillance of the Azores (CIVISA).

“I am anxious, like any Azorean, with the seismic situation that is being experienced on the island of São Jorge”.

According to the official, “science points out” that, given the current circumstances, “it is better to be excessive in prudence than negligent in action”.

Since Saturday (19 March) afternoon, more than 1,800 earthquakes have been recorded on the island of São Jorge, 104 of which were felt by the population.


The Regional Government of the Azores is preparing scenarios for the evacuation of people from the island of São Jorge, in case the seismic crisis worsens.

“We are taking care of this problem with the best technicians so that, if necessary, we have the answer ready to intervene. This response has a nature in terms of the need for evacuations and health care and all this is being prepared but our hope is that it will not be necessary”, said the Clélio Meneses, the regional health secretary.

Also according to Clélio Meneses, there is no evidence that there is volcanic activity on the island of São Jorge, but the entities must be prepared to give “an adequate response”.