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EARTHQUAKES

UPDATE: Earthquake hits Swiss canton of Valais

An earthquake which registered 4.1 on the Richter scale shook parts of the Swiss canton on Tuesday. This is what we know so far.

The 4.1-scale earthquake struck some areas of Valais and was felt also in the Rhône Valley.
Residents of the Rhône Valley might have felt the jolt that hit the Arolla area. Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

Material damages of yet unspecified amount but no victims are reported in the aftermath of the earthquake that jolted the area near Arolla, at the foot of the Val d’Hérens, Tuesday around 7:40 am.  

The earthquake was “largely felt” in  parts of the Rhône Valley, from Villeneuve to Brig, as well as in the neighbouring valleys, according to Swiss Seismological Service (SED).

A aftershock occurred about half an hour later, but was weaker than the first, measuring 1.8 on the Richter scale.

Seismic activity is common in Switzerland, although most of it goes unnoticed by the population.

Valais is the canton with the highest earthquake risk, followed by Basel and Graubünden. 

 

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GRANADA

Earthquakes in Spain: What you need to know about the tremors around Granada

A string of mild earthquakes shook southern Spain overnight following weeks of strong seismic activity in the Granada area, prompting the premier to call for calm on Wednesday.

Earthquakes in Spain: What you need to know about the tremors around Granada
Dozens of quakes have hit the zone around Granada in recent days. Source: Source: IGN

Three of them had a magnitude of between 4 and 4.5, Spain's National Geographical Institute (IGN) said on Twitter.

“Various earthquakes shook Granada again overnight which has worried thousands of people. Please stay calm and follow the instructions of the emergency services,” tweeted Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.   

Many images posted online showed residents out in the street in the middle of the night, wearing pyjamas and coats, despite the coronavirus curfew.

 

Since December 1st, a total of 281 shallow quakes have hit the area around Granada, of which eight had a magnitude of more than 3.0, an IGN statement said on Tuesday.

Of that number, 41 were felt by the population.   

Another quake on Saturday in the same area had a magnitude of 4.4, causing cracks in walls and throwing objects to the ground, it said.   

The interactive map above shows the location and strength of each quake to hit the zone in recent days. Source: IGN

“It's a worrying situation, I understand people's fears,” Granada Mayor Luis Salvador told Spain's public television on Wednesday, calling for calm.   

“All the information we have indicates that although they are many and continuous, that is what prevents a more intense and devastating episode.”   

The IGN said such seismic activity was “common in this area”, flagging it as one of the most seismically active regions of the Iberian Peninsula which experiences “numerous surface earthquakes of low to moderate magnitude, and occasionally with significant intensity”.

The map below produced by the Spanish government shows the risk of seismic activity across Spain. 

Emergency services in Andalusia urged calm and issued guidance for what to do in an earthquake. The tips include seeking refuge beneath a heavy table if inside and if you have to leave the house, avoid running or using the elevator. In the street be careful of danger from falling electrical cables and falling masonary and if driving, park the car and stay put.

 The regional government warned people to be careful of fake news circulating, including a false message that the region had called a state of emergency in expectation of a major quake.

 

But in a tweet from the emergency services of Andalusia, it did advise people to be prepared and have an emergency pack ready just in case.

 

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