The Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands, known as Involcan, has recently shared its assessment regarding the likelihood of a significant earthquake occurring in the Canary Islands in the foreseeable future through its social media platforms. Involcan emphasizes that despite nearly a century of dedicated research by the global scientific community, there is currently no scientifically valid methodology for predicting the precise date and location of a highly destructive earthquake. Nevertheless, it acknowledges the existence of statistical tools that can provide valuable insights.
Involcan draws attention to Spain’s seismic history, spanning the past 1000 years, which reveals the occurrence of at least 27 very strong earthquakes, defined as those with an intensity equal to or greater than VII on the Mercalli scale. As a result, Involcan highlights that the probability of a very strong earthquake transpiring in mainland Spain within the next 50 and 100 years stands at 74% and 92%, respectively.
THE PROBABILITY OF A VERY STRONG EARTHQUAKE IN THE CANARY ISLANDS
Turning specifically to the Canary Islands, Involcan bases its estimation of the potential for a destructive earthquake on historical data spanning the past 475 years. According to their analysis, the probabilities of an earthquake of an intensity equal to or greater than VII occurring in the Canary Islands within the next 50 and 100 years are estimated to be 52% and 81%, respectively.
But what does a very strong earthquake of grade VII on the Mercalli scale entail? Essentially, it has the potential to cause significant damage to poorly constructed buildings, while structures of sound design and construction may experience minimal to moderate damage.