‘Notable’ 4.7 magnitude earthquake jolts south-west of France

Schools were evacuated and locals near Tarbes and Lourdes report feeling the earth moving and hearing vibrations

The earthquake in the Hautes-Pyrénées was felt in the nearby town of Lourdes, which was around 23 km from the epicentre
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A 4.7 magnitude earthquake shook part of the Hautes-Pyrénées this morning (May 21) at around 11:30. 

The epicentre earthquake was located around 19 kilometres south of Tarbes (Occitanie).


Residents of nearby towns of Lourdes, Bagneres-de-Bigorre and Cauterets also reported feeling the earth shaking and hearing the sound of vibrations.

The BCSF Renass (central French bureau of seismology) said that the earthquake this quake and any that is higher than 3.5 on the Richter scale is deemed ‘notable’. You can check the report here

The cause of the quake is being investigated but hey are not uncommon in the area. There had actually been other imperceptible earthquakes during the night, much lower on the Richter scale. 

There are hundreds of earthquakes recorded every year in the Pyrénées although they are rarely on this scale.

Read more: Which areas of France are most at risk from earthquakes?

Three schools were evacuated as a precaution, namely the collège de Bagnères-de-Bigorre, the lycée de Sarsan and the collège de Luz. No injuries have been reported, although a crack appeared in an administrative building in the collège de Luz. 

BCSF Renass told BFM that it is too early to tell if there has been serious damage. It warned to be careful of repeats, telling parents not to come to pick their children up until further notice.