Earthquake jolts northern Germany
20 October 2004
HANOVER – An earthquake measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale shook parts of northern Germany Wednesday, causing a minor scare but no damage or casualties, authorities said.
Police and fire officials were inundated with concerned calls after the earthquake in Lower Saxony state was felt in the northern cities of Hamburg and Bremen.
In some places people ran onto the streets after buildings shook shortly before 9 a.m.
The earthquake’s epicentre was near the town of Neuenkirchen in the Lueneburg Heath region south of Hamburg, with the tremor felt within a 40-kilometre radius. Another, much weaker, tremor followed.
Although minor earthquakes in Germany are not uncommon, Manfred Henger, from the Federal Geoscience and Raw Materials Institute, said Wednesday’s quake was “a surprise for this region”.
The last earthquake of similar strength in northern Germany was near Soltau, measuring 4 on the Richter scale, on 2 June 1977.
Subject: German news