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Minor earthquake hits canton Valais

The quake as registered by the Swiss Seismological Service [SED]

An earthquake measuring 3.9 on the Richter scale has hit canton Valais, causing only minor damage.

The quake struck late on Friday night and lasted for 20 seconds. The epicentre was reported to be five kilometres beneath the earth in Sembrencher.

Regional police received a number of calls from anxious members of the public, who thought the quake was the result of an explosion or avalanche.

Earthquakes occasionally strike Switzerland, but never cause the kind of severe damage recently witnessed in India and El Salvador.

Only last week, a canton-wide project was launched to advise people living in canton Valais on how to prepare for a major quake.

The last quake to strike the region was in November 1997, when a 2.7-magnitude tremor was registered in Dorénaz-La-Russe. The last major earthquake to hit canton Valais was in 1946.

swissinfo with agencies


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