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5.1-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes In France - Details

An earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale has struck near the Loire Valley in western France. 

Thousands of people felt the tremor when it struck around 8.50am on Friday near the town of Bressuire, though no damage was immediately reported.

Alarmed residents reported the quake from as far afield as Normandy in the north, and Bordeaux in the south.
Reports also flooded in from the cities of Le Mans, Nantes, Rennes, and Caen. 
A magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck near the Loire Valley in western France around 8.50am Friday and was felt by residents as far away as Normandy and Bordeaux

It comes after a quake of magnitude 4.9 struck around 30 miles north of Bordeaux in late March this year.

Chimneys on two empty apartment buildings in Barbezieux fell down during the tremor, though no serious damage was reported.

Earthquakes of such magnitude are considered moderate but are relatively rare in France, though dozens of moderate quakes are recorded each year.

The last deadly earthquake to hit France occurred in 1909 when a magnitude 6 tremor struck in the town of Lambesc in Provence.

In total 46 people died and another 250 were injured. The quake remains the strongest ever recorded in mainland France.

Scientists from the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre have warned that quakes of this magnitude tend to strike France around every 100 years, meaning the country is due for another.

Seismologist Remy Bossu cautioned back in 2014 that France is largely unprepared for a quake of that magnitude since many of its historic buildings are not designed to withstand seismic activity.

He said: If it’s magnitude 6 then it can cause damage up to 15 kilometers away. What is key is how far it will be from the nearest town or city. 

'If it’s 10 km then the impact will be limited, but if it's close to a town like Nice then it’s a different story. It can have a huge impact. 

'Then we are looking at a similar quake to what happened in L’Aquila.'
L'Aquila, in Italy, was almost completely destroyed when it was hit by a 5.9 magnitude earthquake in 2009 that killed 300 people.

Six scientists were subsequently jailed for manslaughter after a court ruled they had downplayed the risk of a major earthquake. 

Source: Dailymail

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