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EARTHQUAKE

Swedes wake up to Monday earthquake

An earthquake in the sea between Sweden and Denmark woke Swedes in southwestern Sweden early on Monday morning.

“We woke up at 5am by the whole house shaking. The walls were groaning. We haven’t had a chance to check if there are any cracks anywhere,” said Anne and Mathias Elm in Ängelholm to news agency TT.

In the village of Skogaby, close to Laholm, villagers first thought a freight train had derailed close by.

“We live on a hill facing the sea. For a moment I feared the house was sliding down,“ one villager said.

According to seismologist Reynir Bödvarsson at Uppsala University, the quake measured just above 4 on the Richter scale, rather rare for Sweden.

“Quakes of this magnitude happen maybe every ten years in the Sweden-Denmark area. It is rather special,” said Bödvarsson to TT.

Quakes that measure around 3 on the Richter scale occur about three times a year in Sweden, according to Bödvarsson. Tremors reaching 2 on the scale occur some ten times a year.

“The Kattegatt strait is an area which sometimes sees these somewhat larger quakes. They happen every now and again, but it is a bit unusual that they reach this magnitude,” Bödvarsson told TT.

Police in Halmstad reported receiving some 30 calls after the quake and said that in their offices on the fourth floor, windows were shaking and furniture wobbling but that was all.

Bödvarsson told TT that a quake of this magnitude should pose no threat to buildings and that any potential after-quakes should be so small that they will probably not even be noticed.

According to the US geological survey, USGS, the quake occurred in the sea at an approximate depth of 5.8 kilometres beneath the ocean some 51 km south west of Falkenberg, 60 km north west of Höganäs, 61 km west of Halmstad, and 61 km south southwest of Varberg.

TT/The Local/rm

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EARTHQUAKE

Earthquakes in Spain: What you need to know about the tremors around Granada

A string of mild earthquakes shook southern Spain overnight following weeks of strong seismic activity in the Granada area, prompting the premier to call for calm on Wednesday.

Earthquakes in Spain: What you need to know about the tremors around Granada
Dozens of quakes have hit the zone around Granada in recent days. Source: Source: IGN

Three of them had a magnitude of between 4 and 4.5, Spain's National Geographical Institute (IGN) said on Twitter.

“Various earthquakes shook Granada again overnight which has worried thousands of people. Please stay calm and follow the instructions of the emergency services,” tweeted Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.   

Many images posted online showed residents out in the street in the middle of the night, wearing pyjamas and coats, despite the coronavirus curfew.

 

Since December 1st, a total of 281 shallow quakes have hit the area around Granada, of which eight had a magnitude of more than 3.0, an IGN statement said on Tuesday.

Of that number, 41 were felt by the population.   

Another quake on Saturday in the same area had a magnitude of 4.4, causing cracks in walls and throwing objects to the ground, it said.   

The interactive map above shows the location and strength of each quake to hit the zone in recent days. Source: IGN

“It's a worrying situation, I understand people's fears,” Granada Mayor Luis Salvador told Spain's public television on Wednesday, calling for calm.   

“All the information we have indicates that although they are many and continuous, that is what prevents a more intense and devastating episode.”   

The IGN said such seismic activity was “common in this area”, flagging it as one of the most seismically active regions of the Iberian Peninsula which experiences “numerous surface earthquakes of low to moderate magnitude, and occasionally with significant intensity”.

The map below produced by the Spanish government shows the risk of seismic activity across Spain. 

Emergency services in Andalusia urged calm and issued guidance for what to do in an earthquake. The tips include seeking refuge beneath a heavy table if inside and if you have to leave the house, avoid running or using the elevator. In the street be careful of danger from falling electrical cables and falling masonary and if driving, park the car and stay put.

 The regional government warned people to be careful of fake news circulating, including a false message that the region had called a state of emergency in expectation of a major quake.

 

But in a tweet from the emergency services of Andalusia, it did advise people to be prepared and have an emergency pack ready just in case.

 

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