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Rhine-Main region shaken by earthquake

The Local · 23 Dec 2010, 10:43

Published: 23 Dec 2010 10:43 GMT+01:00

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While such a magnitude is rated as “minor” on the Richter scale, the quake seized the attention of experts because it reached a strength that is very rare for the area.

Residents of the Wiesbaden and Mainz were startled by the deep rumbling that one observer likened to “a train or a truck were driving past the house.”

Another observer compared the noise of the quake to “a railway train ... approaching,” followed by a dull boom.

The quake occurred at 2:36 am and lasted a few seconds.

Wiesbaden police said they received about 40 emergency calls. There were no initial reports of injuries, nor of serious damage to buildings.

An aftershock measuring 2.8 rippled through the area at 6:53 am.

The epicentre was around the town of Finthen, just west of Mainz and the quake’s effects were felt for a radius of about 20 kilometres.

Experts said an earthquake of a 3.5 magnitude is a rare phenomenon in the region, according to the Hessian Environment Ministry. The area lies along a seismically active zone associated with the Rhine Rift Valley, which stretches from Basel in Switzerland to the Benelux countries.

Story continues below…

Serious earthquakes are rare in Germany, though blasting in coal mining areas of Saarland are known to trigger tremors. A quake measuring 4.0 on the Richter scale in Saarwellingen in 2008 reportedly knocked over chimneys and caused power outages, sparking protests against coal mining.

DAPD/The Local/dw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

18:36 December 23, 2010 by yhsanjay
seismic and asiesmic events are not to be mixed up.

The coal seam blasting and surface manifestation (with cracks and may be collapses in mining colony, civil structures) due to non filling on underground mined (abandoned after mining was completed) are aseismic events that create panic.

The Rhine Rift Valley is a tectonic zone that has created this seismic event. It needs to be taken up seriously.

MEQ recorders should be installed and also DGPS ( Differential GPS) need to be used to study the tectonic block movements.This will provide an indepth understanding of the seismically active zone.

A magnitude of 4.0 is to be taken seriously by the authorities and researchers.
00:36 December 24, 2010 by tommyt09
such a coincidence.i believe there was a certain rumble in the north country{cumbria}.it is always nice to receive presents from our trusted,closest cousins.it is christmas.thank you.but seriously,yes,we did have a shake.3.5 on the scale.whisky,shaken,not stirred.merry christmas chaps.
09:34 December 24, 2010 by Mikeyb87
3.7? Thats nothing lol! Ich komme aus California, try sleeping on the ground in a tent when a 6.0 hits. It's like riding a wave lol!!
00:46 December 28, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Right. 3.5 doesn't even get your attention in California. Even dogs and cats sleep through events of that magnitude.
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