Three small quakes shake western Switzerland

9th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

Three small earthquakes shook the west of Switzerland overnight but there were no reports of damage, Swiss police said Sunday.

The quakes, which registered between 2.8 and 3.3 on the open-ended Richter scale, were recorded in the Valais canton.

The epicentre of the first quake at 9:48 pm (2048 GMT) was the tourist village of Mollens, not far from Sierre.

It was followed by a second quake in the same area at 11:20 pm and then a third further down the valley at 12:30 am, police said.

Switzerland is considered at a low to moderate risk of earthquakes. Experts believe an earthquake of magnitude 6 could be expected around once a century and a destructive powerful quake of magnitude 7 only once every 1,000 years.

The town of Basel was destroyed by a quake in 1356. More recently Sierre was rocked by a magnitude 6 quake in 1946.

© 2011 AFP

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