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3.1-magnitude earthquake hits northern Switzerland

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3.1-magnitude earthquake hits northern Switzerland
Photo: Swiss Seismological Service/ETH Zurich

An earthquake with its epicentre in southern Germany was felt by people in northern Switzerland in the early hours of Monday morning.

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The quake measuring 3.1 on the Richter scale struck at 12.29am with its epicentre near the German town of Herrischried – just 13 kilometres from Laufenburg in the canton of Aargau, the Swiss Seismological Service (SED) reported.

“I heard a noise then a jolt as if someone was drilling in the cellar. I was a bit afraid and went straight to my parents. They had also felt the quake,” 16-year-old Rafael from Sulz told Swiss tabloid Blick.

The SED said no damage was to be expected given the magnitude of the quake.

Image: Swiss Seismological Service/ETH Zurich

The Swiss–German border region experienced around 1,230 seismic events last year.

The largest earthquake to hit Switzerland in the last decade, measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale, occurred on March 7th 2017 under the summit of the Ortstock mountain in the canton of Glarus, around 6km west of the town of Linthal.

Around ten quakes of between 3 and 4 magnitude hit the country every year, with a 4+ quake expected every 1-3 years. 

Strong earthquakes, classified of 6 magnitude or above, occur once every 50-150 years.
 
The last, a 6.2, hit Sierre in 1946, meaning Switzerland is due another large one by around 2040, geologists have said.

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