Residents on a Portuguese volcanic island in the Atlantic Ocean are evacuating as thousands of earthquake swarms have been detected and could indicate eruptive activity in the future.
In the Azores, some residents on Sao Jorge have packed up their bags and left the tiny island as fears of a potentially more significant disaster is lurking ahead following more than 12,000 tremors recorded since last Saturday, according to Daily Express.
Earthquake swarms "are likely caused by a magmatic intrusion at 10-15 km depth and could indicate renewed eruptive activity in the future," VolcanoDiscovery said. Around 200 of the quakes have registered a magnitude of up to 3.3.
On Wednesday, the Azores Seismovolcanic Information and Surveillance Center (CIVISA) increased the volcanic alert to Level 4, signifying a "real possibility" the volcano could erupt for the first time since 1808.
Seismologist Joao Fontiela told Lusa news agency that "Sao Jorge has few earthquakes" every year, but "we're now talking about thousands." He's setting up seismic monitoring stations around the island to monitor the developments.
CIVISA said there was "no evidence that a volcanic eruption was imminent." But the agency said an eruption shouldn't be overlooked. It pointed out the earthquake swarms are abnormal.