Friday, September 9, 2011

Unusual 4.2 Earthquake Struck Eastern Part of the Netherlands

A small but unusual earthquake struck the eastern part of the Netherlands on Thursday evening, seismologists and witnesses said, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

The 4.2 magnitude earthquake at 9.02 p.m. local time was centered about 10 miles (17 kilometers) southeast of Nijmegen, a city in the east of the Netherlands, near the German border. It struck about 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) deep, making it a shallow earthquake, according to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Center. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties, but residents throughout the eastern region of the Netherlands and across the German border reported feeling the earthquake.

The Netherlands is rarely hit by earthquakes, and most are usually centered in the northern part of the country due to natural gas processing. The magnitudes of these earthquakes normally do not exceed 3.0 on the Richter scale. The largest earthquake ever recorded in the Netherlands happened on April 13, 1992 when a 5.8-magnitude earthquake struck close to the city of Roermond. Although there were no fatalities, the earthquake caused some damage and was felt as far away as the Czech Republic, Switzerland, France and England.

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