Earthquakes Today: Rare Magnitude 5.0 Quake Rocks France

Wednesday, 09 Apr 2014 12:46 PM

By Ken Mandel

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While no major earthquakes have been reported today, there have been many in the news recently, the latest a magnitude 5.0 quake that shook southeastern France on Monday, according to the country's National Network for Seismic Monitoring.

The quake struck at 9:27 p.m. local time about 30 miles inland from Nice. No damage has been reported, Reuters said, citing Pierre-Martin Charpenel, the mayor of nearby Barcelonnette.

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Major earthquakes in France are uncommon. LiveScience.com reported that earthquakes in the region are the result of "ongoing collisions between the African and European tectonic plates. The plates are crashing together at a rate of 0.2 inches per year.

"Earthquakes of this size are often felt across a wide area and may cause minor to moderate damage, such as cracked plaster," LiveScience.com reported. "They can cause significant damage in areas with outdated building standards."

Earlier this month, a massive earthquake of 8.2 magnitude affected Chile and led to a tsunami, resulting in multiple deaths. That occurred as a "result of thrust faulting at shallow depths near the Chilean coast," according to the U.S. Geological Survey. 

The strongest earthquake ever recorded on Earth occurred in Chile in 1960, according to The Huffington Post. It registered at 9.5 magnitude and killed more than 5,000 people.

A 5.1-magnitude earthquake rocked southern California last month, causing light damage in the Los Angeles area.

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