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On May 27, 2020, a seismic swarm rattled the municipalities of Vilaflor and Guia de Isora on the eastern slope of the Teide Volcano.

In total, 70 volcano-tectonic quakes hit the area within 8 hours. The maximum intensity was a M2.9 tremor at 03:51 A.M. GMT

On May 27, 2020, the Canarian Seismic Network operated by INVOLCAN, has registered a seismic swarm located between the municipalities of Vilaflor and Guia de Isora at depths between 7 and 12 km.

In total, 70 events have been located between 01:46 A.M GMT (02:46 Canarian Hour) and 12:31 P.M. GMT (13:13 Canarian Hour). The maximum magnitude has been 2,5 for a registered event at 03:51 A.M. GMT (04:51 Canarian time). All events have features that allow them to be clearly classified as volcano-tectonic.

The series of earthquakes occurred slightly away from the area most frequently affected by seismicity during last year in Tenerife. The maximum magnitude observed, although small (Ml= 2,9) is the strongest in Tenerife since the event of January 6, 2017, located under the Teide.

What’s behind the swarm?

The swarm possibly reflects a process of pressurization of the volcanic-hydrothermal system, linked to the injection of gases of magmatic origin into the system.

This process, which began in 2016, is also manifested by an increase in the diffuse emission of carbon dioxide (CO2), emanations not visible to the human eye, in the crater of the Teide since last November 2016.

However, there is no significant ground deformations. This may show that the swarm isn’t linked to a superficial magmatic system.

In the short term, it cannot be excluded that more small-magnitude earthquakes may occur, even strong enough to be felt by the population. On the other hand, damaging earthquakes can be ruled out.

Officials say the seismic swarm at Teide is of scientific interest but isn’t a sign of an impending eruption…

Teide Volcano

Teide, Pico Viejo and Montaña Blanca form the Central Volcanic Complex of Tenerife.

Teide’s most recent eruption occurred in 1909.

The United Nations Committee for Disaster Mitigation designated Teide a Decade Volcano because of its history of destructive eruptions and its proximity to several large towns.

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