AN EARTHQUAKE with a magnitude of 5.19 struck in south-east France last night.
The tremor, which occurred at about 9.25pm, lasted 15 seconds and was felt across the Côte d' Azur and southern Alps notably between Saint-Laurent du Var, to the west of Nice, and Grasse.
Properties were damaged at Jausiers, the small Alpes-de-Haute-Provence town above the epicentre of the event, which occurred 11km under the ground, according to official sources.
But residents were disturbed by the noise, the town’s mayor told BFM TV this morning.
The first of two aftershocks, with a magnitude of 1.5, was felt in Briançon at 9.40pm. The second followed just after 10.20pm.
The mayor of Barcelonnette, Pierre Martin Charpenel, told BFM it was the first quake felt in the area for 40 years. He added: “I was sitting in my office and I heard a huge roar as if a train was running beside the house.”
He said small tremors were often felt, but rarely anything of this magnitude.
Firefighters in the Alpes-Maritimes received 800 calls in two hours after the quake struck, but no injuries have been reported and only minor damage to property.
Picture: BFMTV / screengrab