900 earthquakes hit Switzerland in 2018 but few were felt

The strongest earthquake in Switzerland itself occurred on August 23rd in Valais. Keystone

Switzerland recorded more than 900 earthquakes in 2018, the Swiss Seismological Service (SED) announced on Monday at ETH Zurich. Less than 3% (25) of them had a magnitude of 2.5 or more, the value at which earthquakes are registered by the population.

This content was published on January 28, 2019

The two strongest earthquakes felt in Switzerland took place on January 17 and February 1 in the Austrian Kloster valley. Both reached a magnitude of 4.1 on the Richter scale and they were the only ones to have caused minor damage, including cracks in the facades of buildings, the SED said in a statement.

The strongest earthquake in Switzerland itself occurred on August 23rd in the southern region of Valais, near the Alpine summits Dents de Morcles, with a magnitude of 3.2. Some 400 messages from people who felt the earthquake reached SED, including residents of the Rhone Valley, whose soft subsoil is known to amplify the tremors.

Overall, seismic activity was average in 2018, the SED points out. Earthquakes with serious consequences – registering magnitude 6 or more – are a rare occurrence in Switzerland, hitting the country every 50 to 150 years.

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