• France's news in English

Brittany shaken by 4.5 magnitude earthquake

Dan MacGuill · 21 Nov 2013, 15:17

Published: 21 Nov 2013 15:17 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

If you were Brittany on Thursday morning, and thought you felt the earth move – it wasn’t just you.

An earthquake measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale occurred at exactly 10.53am, according to France’s National Network for Seismic Surveillance (Rénass).

The epicentre of the seismic event was close to the town of Vannes, in the department of Morbihan, and lasted around 30 seconds.

The repercussions, however, were strong enough to spread momentary panic throughout the region, with France’s Central Bureau of Seismology (BCSF) receiving around 100 inquiries from members of the public.

Others took to Twitter, perhaps looking for confirmation that they hadn’t been imagining things.

One seemed sure it was an explosion rather than an earthquake, an indication of the force of the shockwave.

“WOW – was that an earthquake in Vannes?” asked another.

One witness in the town of Plescop told Le Parisien: “I was scared, it was really, really strong,” adding that the Breton region frequently experiences seismic activity, “but never anything this strong.”

BCSF seismologist Jérôme Vergne explained the regularity of earthquakes in the western region. "Seismic activity is quite common in Brittany, but of a low magnitude, and not sensed by the public," he told Le Parisien.

"Thursday's earthquake took place on one of the branches of a well-known and very ancient system of faults known as the South Armorican massif," he added.

An employee of the AFP news agency described the effects of the earthquakes. “Objects on the floor and the desk moved about,” he said, adding that the shockwave felt like a plane crash.

Story continues below…

Hélène, a resident of Morbihan, told local newspaper Ouest France that the experience on Thursday “made [her] understand better what people in earthquake-prone countries go through.”

“The TV jumped, the walls shook, my armchair shifted – I was scared,” she added.

Despite the widespread fear caused by the 4.5 magnitude tremor, no injuries or property damage has been reported so far.

Were you in Brittany, and more particularly, Morbihan on Thursday morning? Did you feel anything? Describe it in the comments section below, and we’ll publish it.

Dan MacGuill (dan.macguill@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
How speaking French can really mess up your English
Photo: CollegeDegree360/Flickr

So you've mastered French, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

French claims that Jungle camp is empty are rubbished
Photo: AFP

Reports from the scene say scores of migrants are still in the area of the Jungle despite French authorities claiming "mission fulfilled."

Kidnapped Riviera millionaire left tied up in car boot in Nice
Photo: AFP

Head of luxury Cannes hotel has been found alive after being kidnapped in Nice on Monday.

Paris landlords still charging illegally high rents
Photo: Panoramas/Flickr

... and it's tenants in the smaller apartments that get hit the hardest. Could you be paying too much?

France takes baby steps to make life simpler
Photo: AFP

... including extending the ridiculously short time limit for registering a new baby.

IN PICTURES: Calais Jungle camp goes up in flames
All Photos: AFP

Migrants leave behind a scorched camp as they are moved to locations across France.

French expats in UK suffer Brexit abuse
French ambassador to the UK Sylvie Bermann with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Photo: AFP

French nationals no longer feel at home in the UK, ambassador says. But Brits in France have been greeted with sympathy since the referendum.

Six to go on trial in France over topless Kate photos
Photo: AFP

The topless pics sparked fury among the royals.

France sees biggest drop in jobless rate for 20 years
Photo: AFP

Good news at last. But it's unlikely to keep President François Hollande in his job.

Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available