France Hit by Magnitude 5.2 Earthquake on Atlantic Coast

  • Quake epicenter is about 10 kilometers from city of Rochefort
  • Emergency services report no victims, minimal damage

A magnitude 5.2 earthquake scale struck France’s southwestern Atlantic coast near La Rochelle, the largest to be registered on the country’s mainland in two years.

The quake, which occurred at 08:46 local Thursday, had its epicenter 10 kilometers from the town of Rochefort, the country’s Bureau of Seismology reported on its website. It lasted about 15 seconds and was felt as far north as Nantes.

Earthquakes between levels 4 and 4.9 are typically “felt by all” and cause “minor breakage of objects,” while incidents between 5 and 5.9 tend to cause “some damage to weak structures,” according to the encyclopedia Britannica.

Regional emergency services said they haven’t been called to respond to any incidents related the quake and that damage is minimal at this stage. No victims have been reported.

“Even if this was very widely felt it’s not enormous,” Jerome Vergne of the School and Observatory of Earth Sciences said on BFM television. This sort of quake can do “‘light damage to buildings at the epicenter but not more.”

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