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Via CTT registration : From the Newpapers
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226-E Owning Spanish Property in a company : Offshores
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print article233-Earthquakes & Tsunami

Earthquake risk study reveals dark scenario


By: ELOISE WALTONeloise@the-resident.comPRELIMINARY RESULTS from a study assessing earthquake and tsunami risks in the Algarve have revealed that a tremor like the one experienced in 1755 could lead to around 3,000 fatalities and make 27,000 people homeless in the region (See The Resident, September 7, 2007).The Estudo do Risco Sísmico e de Tsunamis para o Algarve (ERSA), the seismic and tsunami risk study for the Algarve, which began on January 1 2007, is due to be completed by December this year.The aim of this study is to provide detailed knowledge of the risks of these events in the region as well as develop an emergency plan for the Algarve in case of a major earthquake.Preliminary results for this study, which included the collaboration of nine technical and scientific research teams, were presented to the Internal Affairs Minister on February 20 at the University of the Algarve in Faro.These nine Portuguese research teams include departments from the Algarve and Porto Universities as well as the Centre for Geographic studies, the National Civil Engineering Laboratory, the Institute for Earth and Space sciences, the Meteorological Institute, the National Institute of Engineering, Technology and Innovation and the Superior Technical Institute.Dark scenarioSo far, the preliminary results reveal that in the event of an earthquake like the one which hit the country in 1755, measuring 8.5 on the Richter scale, the Barlavento area would be affected the most, with around 3,000 fatalities predicted.Several other scenarios were also included in the study, such as an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale with its epicentre in Tavira, like one which occurred in 1722. This is predicted to cause around 12,000 fatalities and destroy 18,000 buildings, with the eastern Algarve region being most affected.Areosa Pena from the Meteorological Institute told The Resident: “In central and southern Portugal, we register around 400 to 450 earthquakes every year, with the average size being between 2 and 3.5 on the Richter scale.”He also said that the number of tremors recorded is increasing as the Meteorological Institute has been expanding its detection network since the late 1990s, allowing for more detailed information to be collected.Susana Silva, national director for emergency planning said that the emergency plans developed from the results of the study will be tested in the field in 2009. The main aim of the plans is for the different emergency services to respond efficiently together and deal with the most serious injuries within 72 hours.“In the first few hours of a disaster, it is very difficult for people to organise themselves within the region, so help will have to come from neighbouring districts or countries” said Susana Silva.A spokesman from the Civil Protection authority told The Resident: “Although there isn’t yet an earthquake emergency plan specifically for the Algarve region, all of the services are trained to deal with all kinds of emergency situations,” adding: “The most important thing in these types of events is for people to remain calm and not panic.”Do you have a view on this story? 

Earthquakes & Tsunami

The 1755 Lisbon earthquake, also known as the Great Lisbon earthquake, occurred on Saturday, 1 November, the holy day of All Saints Day, at around 09:40 local time. In combination with subsequent fires and a tsunami, the earthquake almost totally destroyed Lisbon and adjoining areas.

Seismologists today estimate the Lisbon earthquake had a magnitude in the range 8.5 to 9.0 on the moment magnitude scale, with its epicentre in the Atlantic Ocean about 200 km (120 mi) west-southwest of Cape St. Vincent. Estimates place the death toll in Lisbon alone between 10,000 and 100,000 people, making it one of the deadliest earthquakes in history.

Above picture 1755 Lisbon earthquake 

According to historical records, most of the earthquakes affecting Portugal (mainland) have epicentre SW of the Iberian Peninsula (Gorringe bank) or in the Lower Tagus Valley. The most vulnerable areas are the Lisbon urban area and Algarve south. Major earthquakes: occurred in 1531, 1755, 1909 and 1969.

During an earthquake

The accepted action to help protect yourself taught in countries at high risk of earthquakes, is to drop, cover and hold” i.e. drop to the floor, take cover under a sturdy desk or table, and hold on to it firmly. More details can be downloaded here.

  • If you are inside a building, move no more than a few steps, drop, cover and hold. Stay indoors till the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit. In most buildings, you are safer if you stay where you are until the shaking stops.
  • If you are in an elevator, drop, cover and hold. When the shaking stops, try and get out on the nearest floor if you can safely do so.
  • If you are outdoors when the shaking starts, move no more than a few steps away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and power lines, then Drop, Cover and Hold.
  • If you are at the beach or near the coast, drop, cover and hold then move to higher ground immediately in case a tsunami follows the quake.
  • If you are driving, pull over to a clear location, stop and stay there with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops. Once the shaking stops, proceed with caution and avoid bridges or ramps that might have been damaged.
  • If you are in a mountainous area or near unstable slopes or cliffs, be alert for falling debris or landslides.
 

After an earthquake

  • Listen to your local radio stations as emergency management officials will be broadcasting the most appropriate advice for your community and situation.
  • Keep calm but expect to feel aftershocks.
  • Check yourself for injuries and get first aid if necessary. Help others if you can.
  • Be aware that electricity supply could be cut, and fire alarms and sprinkler systems can go off in buildings during an earthquake even if there is no fire. Check for, and extinguish, small fires.
  • If you are in a damaged building, try to get outside and find a safe, open place. Use the stairs, not the elevators.
  • Watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines, and stay out of damaged areas.
  • Only use the phone for short essential calls to keep the lines clear for emergency calls.
  • If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window, get everyone out quickly and turn off the gas if you can. If you see sparks, broken wires or evidence of electrical system damage, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box if it is safe to do so.
  • Keep your animals under your direct control as they can become disorientated. Take measures to protect your animals from hazards, and to protect other people from your animals.
  • If your property is damaged, take notes and photographs for insurance purposes. If you rent your property, contact your landlord and your contents insurance company as soon as possible.
  • Do not try and remove injured persons with fractures unless it is urgent to place out of danger and wait for medically trained personnel to arrive.

All prevention and protection information is from official sources.

A Terra Treme” Earthquake exercise 2017 a  Safe Communities Portugal together with Euroinesco participated in this exercise held on 13th October 2017, using “DROP, COVER, HOLD ONE . This can be viewed on YouTube here

 

Emergency planning

Under the emergency plans for earthquakes over 200 entities are involved covering First aid and medical assistance; Forensics / Mortuary; Law and order; Buildings and Structures; Logistics; Communications and  Vital networks

 

Date Inserted: 11 June 2018
Last Updated: 11 July 2018
 
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