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Small earthquake on Vendée border

Quake with a magnitude of 4.3 felt in southern Vendée and northern Deux-Sèvres, prompting 50 calls to fire brigade

An earthquake with a magnitude of 4.3 has hit parts of the Vendée and Deux-Sèvres - the region's fifth in a decade.

The quake was felt by residents within a 40-50km radius of Fontenay-le-Comte, on the border of the two departments, about 15km north-west of the Niort.

Vendée préfecture said there were no reported injuries or damage to property. The fire brigade received about 50 emergency calls from worried locals, but none of them required their intervention.

The Vendée, Deux-Sèvres and Charente-Maritime have experienced five earthquakes on this scale in the past ten years.

The last was in 2007 and the strongest was in 2001, with a magnitude of 4.9.

The north-west corner of France is built on top of the Armorican Massif, an old mountain range with frequent seismic activity.

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