Responses to, and the short and long-term impacts of, the 1957/1958 Capelinhos volcanic eruption and associated earthquake activity on Faial, Azores



Coutinho, Rui, Chester, David K, Wallenstein, Nicolau and Duncan, Angus M
(2010) Responses to, and the short and long-term impacts of, the 1957/1958 Capelinhos volcanic eruption and associated earthquake activity on Faial, Azores. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 196 (3-4). 265 - 280.

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Abstract

The 1957/58 Capelinhos eruption on Faial Island in the Azores is well known for being an excellent example of Surtseyan hydromagmatic volcanic activity. Less well known are the responses of the Portuguese authorities to the eruption and subsequent earthquake in May 1958, and the ways in which well-thought-out and generally effective recovery programmes were put in place. At the time Portugal was ruled by a dictatorship, the Estado Novo (New State). Only superficially similar to other fascist governments in Southern Europe, the Estado Nova collected huge amounts of data on the responses of the authorities to the disaster and their programmes of recovery, but never encouraged academic evaluation of policy, although it ensured that the scientific aspects of the eruption and earthquake were meticulously recorded and published. In this paper we remedy this situation by discussing the details of the immediate response to the emergency and the ways in which the island recovered in its aftermath. The study is based not only on archival sources and demographic and economic data, but also on detailed interviews with survivors some of whom were also decision makers. We argue that response, recovery and rehabilitation were generally highly successful and assess the lessons of the 1957/8 emergency which are relevant to future geophysical disasters in Faial and the wider Azores. Since the 1974 revolution Portugal has been a democratic state. We conclude that both the legislation and the civil defence infrastructure, necessary to achieve a similarly strong and successful, are in place today.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Available online 13 August 2010. Issue date: 1 October 2010.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Capelinhos, Faial, Azores, eruption, earthquake, responses
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D839 Post-war History, 1945 on
Divisions: ?? dep_geog ??
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2010 16:32
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2021 08:58
DOI: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2010.08.003
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/1395