The tremors of an earthquake were recorded in eastern France on Monday evening, according to France’s earthquake monitoring network, the Réseau National de surveillance sismique (RENASS).
The quake was recorded close to Montbéliard, Doubs, which lies close to the Swiss border, around 21:15, but tremors were also recorded in Alsace and the Vosges.
The earthquake was measured at level four on the Richter scale. Nobody was injured and no major damage was caused.
The mayor of Blamont, a village close to Monbéliard, said it is the third earthquake in a few months to hit the area.
Earthquakes in the area have “been more and more frequent, but also shorter over the past year,” he said.
A ‘light’ recording on the Richter scale
The earthquake measured a level four on the Richter scale, which signifies a ‘light’ tremor and can see the insides of buildings noticeably shake.
Eastern areas close to the Swiss border are classed as a level three for seismic activity in France – the second highest in the country, with only the mountainous areas of the Alps and the Pyrénées having a higher level.
It means earthquakes in the area are more likely to occur and in general are stronger than in most of the county.
Although no damage to any buildings or infrastructure was caused, residents close to the epicentre did feel the impacts of the quake on their homes.
One resident said it “had the sensation of a truck passing quickly… the house shook for two or three seconds,” during the evening.
France is no stranger to earthquakes
This is not the biggest earthquake this year so far in France, however.
A slightly stronger 4.2 magnitude earthquake was recorded a few weeks before, 30km from Belfort, in the same area of France, and another tremor of equal magnitude was recorded in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence region in January.
France sees around 4,000 earthquakes every year, but most of these are minor and hardly felt by humans.
You can read more about the earthquakes in France in our article here, as well as see a map of France’s seismic activity.
Around 10,000-15,000 ‘level four’ earthquakes are registered each year worldwide.