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Magma buildup causes new series of earth tremors on Canary islands

MADRID, March 17 (Xinhua) -- The island of El Hierro, which is one of the Spanish-governed Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean has once again registered high levels of seismic activity in the form of hundreds of small earthquakes.

The island, which has long been the focus of seismic activity in the region, suffered around 300 shocks of levels between 1.5 and 2.4 on the Richter Scale between Friday and Monday.

The strongest shock which has been registered so far was of 2.4 and took place 16 kilometers below the surface of the island, which has a population of around 10,000.

The Spanish Geographical Institute (IGN) highlights that the activity took place in the north-west of the island and adds that the level of the shocks was too low for them to be felt by the population.

2011 saw the eruption of an underwater volcano off the coast of the small fishing village of La Restinga on the south of the island. Sulphur from the eruption stained the sea around the volcano saw the village evacuated as magma and debris from the eruption bubbled over the surface of the sea.

In December last year, the Canary Island Volcanology Institute confirmed the island had risen by 8.3 centimeters.

The recent buildup of magma suggests the activity looks likely to continue and opens the possibility that the underwater volcano could again spring into life and perhaps even lead to the creation of a new island off the south coast.

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