Minor tsunamis or sea surges are common in the Balearics. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter - ULTIMA HORA

The Spanish National Geographic Institute, which confirmed the two earthquakes in Mallorca on Tuesday which were of low magnitude and registered 2.2 and 2.5 in Deya and Bunyola respectively, but were mainly felt in Santa Maria, Marratxi and parts of Palma, has said that the risk of a serious earthquake in the Balearics is low to moderate.

According to experts, who have been studying the seismic data in the wake of what happened on Tuesday, Mallorca and Minorca are the islands most vulnerable to tremors similar to those felt earlier this week because the two islands are located on small active faults.

Apparently three key factors have to be taken into account when it comes to earthquakes; the danger (power and magnitude), vulnerability (building which will be affected) and exposure (number of people which will be affected depending on population density).

Furthermore, experts have said that, despite Mallorca being the area with the highest seismic risk in the Balearics, it is difficult to predict when an earthquake might occur, although most studies suggest every 400 years.

According to the Balearic Seismic Energy Plan (Geobal), the municipalities that are located on softer ground would be the areas most affected by an earthquake. This is because in softer ground, seismic waves travel slower than in rocky terrain, and therefore cause more vibrations to buildings.

Geobal’s findings show that between 1654 and 2003, a total of 53 earthquakes were recorded in the Balearics.

Tuesday’s earthquake was not an isolated event. In February 2020 an earthquake was recorded in the centre of the island, with its epicentre in Petra and Manacor.
In November 2011 there was a similar phenomenon, also of low intensity, with a magnitude of 2.1 on the Richter scale, which had its epicentre in the area of sa Bastida, in the municipality of Sant Joan. On February 8, 2012, another earthquake once again shook the centre of the island.
On this occasion, the epicentre was in the area of es Pagos (also in Sant Joan) and was 12 kilometres deep, with a lower magnitude of 1.8 on the Richter scale.