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Earthquakes in Spain: What you need to know about the tremors around Granada

A string of mild earthquakes shook southern Spain overnight following weeks of strong seismic activity in the Granada area, prompting the premier to call for calm on Wednesday.

Earthquakes in Spain: What you need to know about the tremors around Granada
Dozens of quakes have hit the zone around Granada in recent days. Source: Source: IGN

Three of them had a magnitude of between 4 and 4.5, Spain's National Geographical Institute (IGN) said on Twitter.

“Various earthquakes shook Granada again overnight which has worried thousands of people. Please stay calm and follow the instructions of the emergency services,” tweeted Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.   

Many images posted online showed residents out in the street in the middle of the night, wearing pyjamas and coats, despite the coronavirus curfew.

 

Since December 1st, a total of 281 shallow quakes have hit the area around Granada, of which eight had a magnitude of more than 3.0, an IGN statement said on Tuesday.

Of that number, 41 were felt by the population.   

Another quake on Saturday in the same area had a magnitude of 4.4, causing cracks in walls and throwing objects to the ground, it said.   

The interactive map above shows the location and strength of each quake to hit the zone in recent days. Source: IGN

“It's a worrying situation, I understand people's fears,” Granada Mayor Luis Salvador told Spain's public television on Wednesday, calling for calm.   

“All the information we have indicates that although they are many and continuous, that is what prevents a more intense and devastating episode.”   

The IGN said such seismic activity was “common in this area”, flagging it as one of the most seismically active regions of the Iberian Peninsula which experiences “numerous surface earthquakes of low to moderate magnitude, and occasionally with significant intensity”.

The map below produced by the Spanish government shows the risk of seismic activity across Spain. 

Emergency services in Andalusia urged calm and issued guidance for what to do in an earthquake. The tips include seeking refuge beneath a heavy table if inside and if you have to leave the house, avoid running or using the elevator. In the street be careful of danger from falling electrical cables and falling masonary and if driving, park the car and stay put.

 The regional government warned people to be careful of fake news circulating, including a false message that the region had called a state of emergency in expectation of a major quake.

 

But in a tweet from the emergency services of Andalusia, it did advise people to be prepared and have an emergency pack ready just in case.

 

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TRAVEL

OFFICIAL: Vaccinated global travellers will finally be able to come to Spain from June 7th

The Spanish government on Saturday June 5th published a state bulletin confirming that it will modify the entry rules for vaccinated non-EU/Schengen citizens from June 7th. 

OFFICIAL: Vaccinated global travellers will finally be able to come to Spain from June 7th
Photo: ALEX WONG / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

As we reported ahead of time on Friday, Spain has gone ahead and changed its entry rules for non-EU/Schengen vaccinated travellers, only seven days after it extended a ban on non-essential travel from outside the bloc.

This has caused plenty of confusion over the past week, as Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez had initially said that all vaccinated travellers, “regardless of their country of origin”, would be able to come to Spain from June 7th, whereas last weekend’s state bulletin BOE made no mention of vaccinated travellers and in fact extended the ban on non-essential travel from third countries until June 30th.

In the end, Sánchez and his government have stuck to their word, and were just keeping their cards close to their chest while preparing a new BOE with conditions that modify the travel rules published only seven days earlier.  

What has Spain now confirmed?

Spain has “modified the criteria for the temporary restriction of non-essential travel from third countries to the EU and Schengen countries” the document begins. 

The standout modification is that people who wish to travel to Spain from outside the EU/Schengen Zone can do so from June 7th if they have a vaccination certificate and have had their full vaccination treatment or last dose 14 days before travel. 

In essence, vaccinated people have been added to the list of non-EU/Schengen travellers who are exempt from the ban on non-essential travel to Spain, which up to now had been mainly for Spanish nationals and residents, students, several different categories of key workers and in some cases spouses and family members of Spanish/EU and those who can prove force majeure reasons (more details here and here). 

This BOE is the first official document confirming Pedro Sánchez’s words on May 21st, and has been released less than 48 hours before the new rule comes into effect, at 00:00 hours on June 7th 2021. 

There are no changes to the list of non-EU countries which are exempt from Spain’s non-essential travel rule. People from Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, Macao, China, the United Kingdom and Japan can continue coming to Spain for non-essential reasons such as holidays.

The difference for vaccinated travellers from countries that are not on the list is that they as “specific people” are now also exempt from the non-essential travel ban, as long as they can prove they’ve been vaccinated.

The Spanish government has published a second state bulletin which lays out the new conditions for travel to Spain regarding vaccination certificates, health passes and more, so stay tuned to The Local Spain as we will cover all this in detail.

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