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Southern Germany rattled by earthquake

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Southern Germany rattled by earthquake
Photo: DPA
10:40 CET+01:00
A slight earthquake shook parts of southern Germany in the early hours of Monday.

The epicentre of the earthquake, which had a magnitude of 3.8, was north of Albstadt in the Zollernalbkreis district, halfway between Stuttgart and Lake Constance, the southwest earthquake service reported. 

The tremors happened at 1.59am on Monday and were felt within a radius of about 30 kilometres.

The police in Tuttlingen reported that several residents called them during the night about the earthquake.  So far, no damage has been reported to the police.

Earthquakes with a magnitude between 2.5 and 5.4 on the Richter scale can often be felt and if they cause damage, it is usually only minor.

This summer a series of minor earthquakes have happened around the Lake Constance region. The strongest earthquake reached a magnitude of 3.7 and happened at the end of July.

Germany is situated in the middle of the Eurasian Plate and isn't particularly prone to huge earthquakes, but there are still some tremors recorded here. The country is transected by parts of the European Cenozoic Rift System, particularly in the Upper and Lower Rhine areas and these remain active today.

Most of the quakes occur in this area but there are also zones around the northern edge of the Alps, Lake Constance and in the Leipzig plain.

The map below shows the most at-risk zones in Germany. The red zones have the highest risk of earthquakes.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

However, earthquakes can also cause major damage in Germany. That was demonstrated by the tremors registered in April 1992 in the border region between Germany and the Netherlands. The so-called Roermond earthquake had a magnitude of 5.3 and caused damage costing millions.

An earthquake in Albstadt in September 1978 was similar –- at that time the magnitude 5.7 was registered on the Richter scale.

 
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