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Valais shaken by 4.2 magnitude earthquake

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Valais shaken by 4.2 magnitude earthquake
The earthquake hit in the canton of Valais near Sierre. Photo: Alain Rouiller

Residents of the Valais felt the earth move on Monday afternoon as an earthquake of magnitude 4.2 hit the canton.

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The earthquake struck at 4.44pm six kilometres north-east of the city of Sierre, but was felt throughout the canton and even further afield, reported the Swiss Seismological Service (SED).

A number of concerned people called police, mostly from the Leukerbad area, but no damage was reported, said news agencies.


Source: SED, Oct 25th

Earthquakes are common in Switzerland, with around 500-800 occurring every year, but most are so light they can’t be felt.

Only around ten quakes of between 3 and 4 magnitude hit the country every year, and the last one to surpass 4 was in 2013.

Strong earthquakes, classified of 6 magnitude or above, occur once every 50-150 years, according to the SED.

The last, a 6.2, hit Sierre in 1946, meaning Switzerland is due another large one by 2040, geologists have said.

The country’s strongest documented earthquake, a 6.6 on the Richter scale, hit Basel in 1356.

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