Palma.—The Director of Seismic Department of the National Geographic Institute, Emilio Carreño, confirmed yesterday that the earthquake occurred at 2.10 am and that it was felt by a number of local residents because they received a host of calls from concerned home owners.

In fact, because the epicentre was only 12 kilometres below the surface, despite the quake registering just 1.8 on the Richter scale, the tremor was felt in neighbouring Porreres.

Jaume Vidal spoke yesterday of how all the glasses in his house started to tremble. “My father's a really heavy sleeper but it woke him up,” Vidal added. “The whole house shook and I live on the second floor so the sound of all the glass trembling was magnified,” Vidal said.

Montserrat Barcelo said “it all happened so quickly, I thought it was a dream until I spoke to the neighours yesterday morning and realised that it was no dream.” And, Carreño was not ruling out further after shocks although he said that if they do occur over the next few days, they will be negligible and probably only detected by the institute's seismic equipment.

Carreño said that the last earthquake to have struck the island was in 2010 in south west Calvia and registered 3 on the Richter scale. However, the epicentre was out at sea so the repercussions were minimal.

Prior to that, an earthquake registering 4.2 on the Richter hit Majorca in 1978 and in 1925, the south west of the island was hit by a quake registered 4.3.

The most powerful quake to have struck the island was in 1851 and registered 8 on the Richter scale.
It apparently hit in a fault line between Bunyola and Sencelles but caused most of the damage to Palma and Marratxi. However, according to Carreño, the majority of Balearic quakes happen at sea although in 1660, Palma and Campos were struck and in 1721, so too was Selva.

3'600 per year
Carreño added that some 3'600 quakes are registered in Spain and the islands every year, but in the Balearics, they are mostly very weak and of low seismic activity.