Pyrenees hit by quake

The Pyrenees have been shaken by an earthquake measuring 4.8 on the richter scale with the epicenter close to Lourdes. Emergency services said it was a miracle that there was no major damage or injuries. The quake struck around 7 pm yesterday evening. Eyewitnesses described a sound like an explosion with crockery and windows shaking. Electricity was cut in some sectors.

The earthquake was one of the strongest to hit the mountain range for a number of years. The western end of the mountain range is particuarly prone to seismic events. In the middle ages a quake estimated at 6.1 killed nearly a thousand people on Catalonia. More recently in 1967 an earthquake in the Atlantic Pyrenees destroyed 2000 buildings. The Pyrenees are a relatively new mountain range and were formed 100 million years ago and are on a fault line however an major earthquake is unlikely. Today the authorities were checking public works including dams.

Posted by on Saturday, 18 November, 2006 at 09:19 AM

It is the turn of the Haute-Savoie to suffer a quake. This time a tremor of 2.5 was felt at the end of this afternoon in the Saint-Gervais/Megève area. Earthquakes in the area are a rare event. The last major event was back in 1817 and it caused some serious damage.

Posted by davidof on  Wednesday, 22 November, 2006  at 11:25 PM
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