Spaniards protest gas storage plant after quakes

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Associated Press

Posted on October 6, 2013 at 7:33 AM

Updated Sunday, Oct 6 at 8:02 AM

MADRID (AP) — Thousands of Spaniards are protesting the presence of an underground gas storage plant over growing fears it is triggering minor earthquakes in the area.

Some 4,000 people carried banners along the seaside promenade of the coastal town of Les Cases d'Alcanar, 500 kilometers (310 miles) east of Madrid, on Sunday, calling for the offshore plant to be closed or dismantled.

Spain's Geographical Institute has measured a sharp increase in temblors — 139 in the 10 days up to Saturday — since operators began pumping gas into the facility. Some earthquakes have exceeded magnitude 4.0. The first alarms were set off on Sept. 13 after 300 quakes were detected.

Government officials believe there's a direct link between the temblors and injections of fuel gas into the offshore storage system.

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