45 years ago “the earth shook” in Madeira and Porto Santo

The earth shook in Madeira on May 26, 1975. The Diário the following day featured on the front page the earthquake that had become a natural phenomenon that alarmed the population and destroyed some houses.

The earth shook on the two inhabited islands for about 35 seconds, causing panic among the population not used to this natural event.

The Diário Notícias reported in detail that “it was, precisely, 9 am, 13 minutes and 4 seconds, when a deaf snore from the alarm alerted all the inhabitants who, accustomed to the trepidations caused by the random passage of heavy vehicles, did not notice, a priori, than if it is happening ”. However, the insistence of the phenomenon was soon noticed and the alarm and fear was installed in the population.

“Women and children screamed, there were some fainting spells here and there”, it was mentioned in the printed edition of the Diário, which also said that the majority of the population abandoned their houses or workplaces.

The Diário also praised that “we witnessed impressive scenes of human solidarity, seeing young people helping elderly people to go down the stairs and come to the street”.

Despite the great “scare”, there were no fatalities, only material damage. Some families were left homeless. 

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