Totana is now home to an accelerograph machine, following the reception ceremony which was held yesterday and was attended by Mayor Isabel María Sánchez and Joaquín Bascuñana, the central government delegate to the Region of Murcia.
Which leaves us with just one question: what is an accelerograph machine? Well, it’s a seismic activity detector, and the one in Totana is the 108th in the national network of such instruments. New machines are also soon to be installed in Puerto Lumbreras, Águilas and Mazarrón, bringing the regional total up to ten and increasing the capacity of the national geographical institute to monitor tremors in the area of the Guadalentín.
The profile of the area as one of seismic activity has of course risen sharply since last year’s earthquakes in Lorca, and the new equipment in Totana will make it possible to measure the intensity of local tremors more exactly. This is important, because it enables analysts to paint a more complete picture of what is happening to the earth’s crust in the area, and they can then establish local risk profiles which determine anti-seismic precautions in local construction requirements.
The intention of the national geographical institute is to strengthen research in the field of seismic engineering in order to gear it up so that it is of public use, and the accelerograph is at the forefront of seismic measurement technology.
There have been literally dozens of minor earth tremors in Spain during the last 10 days, most of them off the coast around the various islands which fringe Spain, the nearest to Murcia being in La Puebla de Don Fadrique on the Almería border. The majority are too minor to be perceptible to humans, and only sensitive instruments, such as these are able to detect that they are even taking place.
These minor movements are essential to dissipate energy caused by the friction of the earth's tectonic plates rubbing together.
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