French Alps shaken by 140 earthquakes in just over a month

Residents in one part of the French Alps are starting to grow a little concerned after the area was hit by 140 earthquakes in the last 40 days.

Those living in the Maurienne part of Savoie in the French Alps have been getting used to being shaken awake at night in recent weeks.
Earthquake observation organisation Sismalp have registered 140 minor tremors in the region in the last 40 days. The strongest tremor registered 3.8 on the Richter scale.
While none of the earthquakes have caused any structural damage, they are starting to fray the nerves of locals, who have been briefed about how to act in the case of a powerful tremor.
“The noise is like a storm coming from far way. Everything shakes. I said 'that's it, all the tiles are going to break,” Martine a resident of the village of Montgellafray told Europe1 radio.
“The last earthquake was really frightening. Since the end of August it has never stopped. Every two days there is one and they are getting more common.”
Another resident of the village, named Yves said: “Everyone is asking questions. Everyone in the village is talking about it.”
Seismologists say they are unable to explain the increase in the number of earthquakes in the region, but have placed five new sensors in the valley to “monitor and better understand the phenomenon”.
After a series of quakes along the French Riviera in  2014 a specialist seismologist told The Local that south east France would be hit by a big earthquake at some point in time.
“We don't know when a big one will come, but it will and there will be fatalities,” he said.

'One day a deadly earthquake will hit France'


UPDATE: Earthquake hits Swiss canton of Valais

An earthquake which registered 4.1 on the Richter scale shook parts of the Swiss canton on Tuesday. This is what we know so far.

The 4.1-scale earthquake struck some areas of Valais and was felt also in the Rhône Valley.
Residents of the Rhône Valley might have felt the jolt that hit the Arolla area. Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

Material damages of yet unspecified amount but no victims are reported in the aftermath of the earthquake that jolted the area near Arolla, at the foot of the Val d’Hérens, Tuesday around 7:40 am.  

The earthquake was “largely felt” in  parts of the Rhône Valley, from Villeneuve to Brig, as well as in the neighbouring valleys, according to Swiss Seismological Service (SED).

A aftershock occurred about half an hour later, but was weaker than the first, measuring 1.8 on the Richter scale.

Seismic activity is common in Switzerland, although most of it goes unnoticed by the population.

Valais is the canton with the highest earthquake risk, followed by Basel and Graubünden.