Earthquake hits northern Sweden

An earthquake rumbled through northern Sweden on Thursday night, according to local media reports.

The quake rattled residents near Umeå in southern Västerbotten, but neither police nor emergency services received any reports of injuries.

The Västerbottens-Kuriren newspaper reports that the Norwegian seismic research organization Norsar registered a quake measuring 2.46 on the Richter scale with an epicenter several dozen kilometres south of Burträsk, near Skellefteå.

The data from Norway corresponds with estimates by Uppsala University seismologist Reynir Bödvarsson.

“My guess is that this was an earthquake stronger than 2.3 but less than 3 on the Richter scale,” he told the newspaper.

Bödvarsson isn’t surprised that the quake occurred, as it took place in an area of Sweden which, relative to the rest of the country, often experiences detectable seismic tremors.

“About ten times a year we have an earthquake in Sweden around 2 [on the Richter scale] and about once we have a quake of 3. These happen primarily along the [east] coast from Uppland and northward, as well as in the area around Vänern lake and Skagerrak [on the west coast],”

But residents living in the area weren’t as well prepared to have the earth shaking beneath their feet.

“I was sitting and talking on the telephone with my girlfriend up in Åsänet. We heard the boom at exactly the same time. At my place, the glass shook in my bookcase,” said Roger Olofsson from Röbäck in an email to the newspaper.

Neither he nor his girlfriend found the earthquake to be a pleasant experience.

“She thought at first that a car had crashed into the wall of her home,” wrote Olofsson.

The largest earthquake ever recorded in Sweden occurred in 1904 outside the Koster islands on the west coast and measured nearly 6.0 on the Richter scale.


Turkish community in Germany gathers to help earthquake victims

The earthquake in Turkey and northern Syria has shaken the whole of Germany - but especially those who have relatives in the disaster area. 

Turkish community in Germany gathers to help earthquake victims

In dozens of cities in Germany, donations are being collected for victims of the massive earthquake, which as of Wednesday afternoon had claimed more than 11,000 lives.

People are bringing tent stoves, flashlights, diapers, fleece blankets, and hand warmers. One of the many collection points has been organized by the German-Turkish care service Dosteli in Berlin.

At the governmental level, Germany — home to about three million people of Turkish origin — will” mobilise all the assistance we can activate”, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said on Wednesday.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had a call with Erdogan and sent his “deep condolences”, as a search and rescue team left Tuesday afternoon with 50 rescuers and equipment. 

​​The EU said it was “funding humanitarian organisations that are carrying out search and rescue operations” in Syria as well as providing water and sanitation support and distributing blankets.

Charities line up to help

Particularly in Berlin, where over eight percent of the population is of Turkish origin, people have lined up down streets to drop off supplies. But they have led large donation efforts in cities like Frankfurt and Hamburg, where several businesses like bars set aside space to collect supplies,

The Dostali team had been sorting clothes and hygiene items all night, packing them and loading them into trucks. “Almost the entire Turkish diaspora in Berlin was there,” one volunteer told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ)

The helpers organized themselves via appeals in social media. From the collection points, the donations are to be transported by trucks and planes to the affected regions. 

READ ALSO: Who are Germany’s foreign population and where do they live?

In response to an inquiry from the FAZ, Turkish Airlines confirmed that it was delivering donations from 14 countries to the Turkish crisis areas, Germany being one of them.

The Turkish community in Germany is well connected via social media – “and everyone wants to help,” said Kübra Oguz, a volunteer with the Puduhepa e.V., initiative founded by Turkish migrant women.

In order for this to happen in a targeted manner, she recommended directly donating money, which could then be funneled to buy food, hygiene products or shoes, depending on the need.

Several organisations in Germany and worldwide are also accepting donations for humanitarian aid, include UNICEF, Save the Children and Aktion Deutschland Hilft.

With reporting from AFP.