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Article published the Sunday 06 January 2013 - Latest update : Sunday 06 January 2013

Small earthquake hits pilgrimage town Lourdes

Basilica of our Lady of the Rosary in Lourdes
Roland Darré via Wikimedia Commons

By RFI

A magnitude four earthquake has struck near the town of Lourdes in south-western France in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The French Central Bureau of Seismology says the quake happened at 12:26 am on Sunday morning.

The epicentre was around 15 kilometres from the famous Catholic pilgrimage town in the Haute-Pyrénées department, and the tremor could be felt within a 30-kilometre radius.

Police and firefighters say there are no reports of damage or injuries.

The area is prone to light earthquakes. It recorded a magnitude 4.8 earthquake in the early hours of New Year’s Eve.

Towns to the east of the Pyrénées also recorded magnitude 3.6 and 3.8 earthquakes on October and December.

The strongest earthquake ever to hit the Pyrénées was a magnitude 7 to 8 quake on 29th February, 1980.

The last fatal earthquake happened on 13th August 1967 in the village of Arette, 73 kilometres east of Lourdes, in the Pyrénées-Atlantique department.

The magnitude 8 earthquake killed one person and destroyed large parts of the village.

tags: earthquake - France - Lourdes - Pyrenees
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