There is often a lot of seismic activity in Torrevieja and the surrounding area, and minor earthquakes in the area are quite common, usually measuring between about 2 or 3 on the Richter scale, enough to make buildings and windows shake, and small cause small items to move, but at 06:15 on Saturday 21 March 1829, the town suffered a catastrophic tremor, which measured 6.6, and although the most affected town was Almoradí, it is more commonly called the Torrevieja earthquake, because Torrevieja was the largest are to suffer damage from its effects.
The period between 1820 and 1830 was the period of greatest seismic activity in the south of the province of Alicante, affecting the Bajo Segura seismotectonic lines, which have three faults: Benejúzar – Benijófar, Guardamar del Segura and Torrevieja. In general, the coast of Alicante is sunken about 10 metres below the Torrevieja fault.
During the 1829 Torrevieja earthquake, practically all of the houses, most of which were constructed with wooden beams, collapsed with the occupants still inside. The watchtower from which Torrevieja gets its name, situated at the Eras de la Sal, also collapsed.
Almoradí was the most affected city, and as a result of the damage to the buildings in Guardamar del Segura, the whole town was redesigned.
In total, some 2,965 houses were destroyed, and another 2,396 houses were affected by this earthquake, which tragically also resulted in 386 people losing their lives, and another 375 suffering injuries.
In the hope of protecting the are from further damage, many people look to San Emigdio for support, the patron saint of earthquakes, and pray to the memory of all the victims. Torrevieja has a street dedicated to the saint, calle San Emigdio.