TWO earthquakes just three minutes apart in the Alborán sea have shaken the Spanish-owned city-province of Melilla on the northern Moroccan coast, and were felt briefly by residents on the Costa del Sol.
The first tremor came at 05.16hrs today and measured 4.8 on the Richter scale, and the second, at 05.19hrs, measured 4.1 – both of which were 10 kilometres underground and practically in the same location, just off the coast of Al-Houcemas in Morocco.
Residents in Melilla (pictured), close to the Algerian border, felt the worst of the impact of both quakes, although the ground shook for a few seconds in the mainland Spain province of Málaga.
No damage was caused in either province.
The fault line in the Alborán sea between Andalucía and eastern Morocco is far enough away from mainland Spain and Gibraltar that the ongoing tremors only cause a brief shaking sensation and do not cause damage, even long-term or accumulated.
But the north African outpost of Spain has borne the brunt of tremors in the Alborán.
The highest magnitude so far was 6.3, on January 25, which led to roof tiles and chunks of rendering falling off buildings in Melilla, costing around €12 million to repair.
Nobody was hurt and no major structural damage was sustained by any of the buildings.