UA resident of Niort had the “fear of his life”: a “very strong” earthquake struck much of the western part of the country on Friday evening, followed by no major damage during the night. to the authorities.
According to the National Seismic Monitoring Network (Renass) and the French Central Bureau of Seismology (BCSF), the magnitude 5.3 to 5.8 tremor struck the city of Cram-Saban (Charente-Maritime) at 6:38 p.m. Mauzé-sur-le-Mignon (Deux-Sèvres), halfway between La Rochelle and Niort.
It was followed by a tremor of “magnitude 5 (…)” at 4:27 am in the same section of #DeuxSevres, the province said in a press release on Saturday morning.
Firefighters are “carrying out intelligence operations, responding to calls and checking the condition of buildings, particularly vulnerable ones during the earthquake from Friday evening”, Deux-Sèvres prefecture added.
In Tours, law student Leah Franke was reading a book on her bed when she suddenly “became very scared”.
“I woke up and my whole apartment shook: the mirror hanging on the wall, the microwave, the mirror, etc. It lasted for a few seconds, then it stopped,” he told AFP. “I’m on the 3rd floor of a building and I thought it was going to collapse. »
On mainland France, the last earthquake with a magnitude greater than 5 occurred in Drôme in 2019.
“On average, metropolitan France has one every 10 years,” Jerome Vergne, a seismologist at the Institute of Earth and Environment in Strasbourg, told AFP.
“In the region, a very similar magnitude was last in Oleron in 1972. So for the western region, this is really an important event,” he said, adding that some aftershocks had been detected.
“Fear More Than Harm”
In Deux-Sèvres, “a person with minor injuries was taken care of by the emergency services”, according to the province’s report, material damage to buildings, mainly cracks and fallen stones, which is not the case in Charente-Maritime. Casualties were recorded by emergency services.
On the other hand, more than a thousand houses in the department were without electricity by early evening, officials said, as the high-voltage line was damaged.
In La Laigne (Charente-Maritime), a town of 500 people closest to the epicenter, the church tower has large cracks, and a dozen houses were deemed “uninhabitable” by firefighters because of cracks in load-bearing walls. An AFP reporter noted in the evening.
These home inspections will continue through the night with reinforcements from building experts from neighboring departments.
Charlene Verdun, a 26-year-old nursing student living on the 8th floor of a building in Tours, was sitting on her balcony when the tremors struck.
“It was interesting. I wondered what it could be. An earthquake, I’ve never experienced that. I didn’t really understand, I thought I was delusional,” she said.
In Châtelaillon-Plage (Charente-Maritime), an AFP reporter first felt “a dull noise”. “It increased and I felt the house shaking, the walls swaying, the books falling.”
On the Ile de Ré, Marianne Gleip was with her four children “when the sofa shook”.
“It lasted 5 or 6 seconds and I had time to understand and shout to my children + outside! I said to myself: all the time, it will increase and the house will fall. I thought about what happened in Turkey,” the 32-year-old social worker told AFP.
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