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Brittany earthquake: 'I thought my house would collapse'

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Brittany earthquake: 'I thought my house would collapse'
11:03 CET+01:00
An earthquake measuring 3.9 on the Richter scale struck the northwestern corner of France on Sunday night.
The quake - which measured 3.9 on the Richter scale - hit at 10.27pm on Sunday, according to France's National Earthquake Surveillance Network (Renass).
 
It struck around 15 kilometres north of Brest. 
 
While no injuries or major structural damage were reported, around 2,000 people responded when the local Ouest France Brest newspaper asked if its Facebook followers felt anything.
 
"I thought my house was going to collapse," Brest resident Aurélien Mazé said. 
 
"I thought it was an explosion at the naval base in Brest," Frances, a 30-year-old woman living in Brest, told The Local. 
 
"There was a blood curdling noise and everything moved, even my Christmas tree," another resident added on Facebook. 
 
A statement from France Central Seismological Bureau said it had over 100 witness statements about the quake so far.
 
Others were more relaxed, especially considering there have been several small earthquakes nearby in recent weeks. 
 
"I thought it was my neighbours who were starting a party, I was about to go and knock at their door and have a go at them," Elyzabeth Martin told The Local. 
 
Photo: FranceSeisme
 
Serious earthquakes are uncommon in Brittany, with only a few registered in the past 50 years that surpassed 4 on the Richter Scale. 
 
France hasn't been hit by a fatal earthquake since 1909, when 46 people were killed and 250 were injured in the town of Lambesc in Provence (see pic below).
 
However, experts warn that France is long overdue for a large-scale quake. 
 
 
 
"We don't know when a big one will come, but it will and there will certainly be fatalities," French seismologist Remy Bossu from the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) in Paris told The Local previously
 
EMSC's Bossu says deadly quakes of a major scale like the one in Lambesc hit France on average every 100 years, so based on averages a big tremor is due.
 
As to where it will hit, no one can be sure, but the tweet below gives an indication of the at-risk areas.
 
According to the Department of the Environment, a staggering 21,000 French towns and villages are situated in earthquake-prone areas.
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