Unusual earthquake near Budapest, Hungary

Last update: January 31, 2011 at 9:37 am by By

Village of Kecskéd Központ, next to the epicenter - Panoramio picture courtesy 'hartmangabor' http://www.panoramio.com/photo/15739606

UPDATE 31/01 – 09:29 UTC : Since the M 4.3 mainshock on Saturday, only 2 aftershocks bigger than 2.5 have been recorded.  A M 3.0 on Sunday and a M 2.6 at 01:25 AM earlier today. Both shocks are clearly aftershocks as they occurred near Oroszlany.

UPDATE 31/01 – 09:07 UTC : Another video report of RTL klub showing a seismologist explaining with his seismograms what exactly happened. (video report in Hungarian)
http://www.rtlklub.hu/hirek/belfold/video/116573

UPDATE 31/01 – 08:59 UTC : The number of damages has gone up to 26, with 3 chimneys being demolished for safety. No serious damage. Many cracks in other places too.
We give this (for some of you minor damage) information as the many Hungary people who are reading this article want to get the total picture of this (for them) unusual earthquake.

UPDATE 30/01 – 13:50 UTC : Damage in Budapest is very limited. Only a couple of buildings with some minor cracks.  People have been frightened but returned soon in their houses. People living in the Oroszlány and Vertessomlo areas did stay a lot longer in the streets to avoid being trapped in their houses after eventual powerful aftershocks (which did not happen so far).

UPDATE 30/01 – 13:24 UTC : Hungarian insurance companies have assured Hungarian people that they will be compensating for eventual earthquake damage.

UPDATE 30/01 – 13:24 UTC : 16 houses have been damaged in Vertessomlo, mostly cracks in walls and collapsed chimneys.

UPDATE 30/01 – 13:15 UTC : New video footage on th

is unusual Hungarian earthquake from hirTV
Video 1
Video 2

http://geophysics.elte.hu/projektek/TECTOP-HUNGARY.pdf

UPDATE 30/01 – 12:58 UTC : Seismicity in Hungary (like everywhere else in the world) is a complex geological phenomena which includes careful examination of the local geology. Earthquake-Report.com came across a very interesting article about Hungarian earthquakes.
The document is highly technical, but we can recommend reading it to those people who are interested in geology and earthquake tectonics.
http://geophysics.elte.hu/projektek/TECTOP-HUNGARY.pdf

UPDATE 30/01 – 08:54 UTC : NO more significant aftershocks (M 3.0 or higher) have been recorded in the greater Oroszlány area.

UPDATE 21:56 UTC : Tony wrote (see also comment below) :I was in Oroszlány at the time “ it was as if there was a huge explosion somewhere nearby “ the whole building felt like someone had given it a quick jolt!. It happened without any warning (no tremor, nothing “ just a deep BANG). Everyone in the building made there way outside “ I left shortly to make my way home in a nearby village where the effects were slower and lesser. On the way home I saw that the whole town had come out of there houses (which are mainly maisonettes and tall flats) mainly for safety “ even though it was -12 degrees Centigrade outside.

UPDATE 21:48 UTC : All Budapest Danube bridges will be inspected during the night after today’s earthquake.

UPDATE 20:48 UTC : RTL klub reports that several houses were damaged in Vertessomlo. The cracks mostly occurred in old houses.

UPDATE 20:14 UTC : Heard the walls make cracking noises, the furniture moved slightly sideways. It lasted for just a few seconds (testimony out of Budapest)

UPDATE 20:10 UTC : 3 damage cases are currently examined in Budapest. Amongst these cases a 1o story building.  Cracks in the staircase and some minor damage to walls was reported.
Damage will be limited but for Hungary this is an exceptional phenomena.
The last very damaging earthquake in Hungary dates from 1763 when the town of Komarom was destroyed for 1/3th with at least 60 people killed. This magnitude was approx. 6.3

UPDATE 19:52 UTC : EMSC seismologists have revised the earthquake data again and have concluded that it should be : Magnitude 4.3 at a depth of 5 km
These findings are in line with the experiences reported by the people.

UPDATE 19:47 UTC : The last earthquake in Hungary (also a magnitude of 4.8) occurred in 1985.

UPDATE 19:38 UTC : The shaking in Oroszlány lasted from 10 to 15 seconds. Power went down in Oroszlány and phone lines got overloaded.

UPDATE 19:38 UTC : We call upon our readers to write their experience in our Quake-Maps.com website. A form will open in filling it in only last less than 1 minute.

UPDATE 19:33 UTC : Maximum IV to V MMI (light to moderate shaking)  is reported near the epicenter. Budapest reports in average a III MMI (Weak shaking).

UPDATE 19:26 UTC : No aftershocks so far, but seismologists do expect at least some minor aftershocks the coming hours.

UPDATE 19:25 UTC : Emergency services are currently examining some cases of damage.

UPDATE 19:18 UTC : More EMSC testimonies from Hungary are getting in (so far no testimonies yet from the direct epicenter area).

35 km from the epicenter (Paty)  : I was sitting in my chair and I felt like I was in a boat, the ground felt a bit like a lake, waving.

50 km from the epicenter (Budapest) : short while before the actual trembling there was a brief rumbling noise..mistakable to a passing streetcar or such, then after 3 seconds or so, the whole room swayed back-and-forth a little…quite frightening, but nothing serious..many people from around the country instantly shared on social networks about what happened

50 km from the epicenter (Budapest) : Sitting on 7th floor of hotel in middle of Budapest when the shaking happened, pretty scary as it was very quick and quite violent, however nothing was damaged or moved in room so maybe its just a scary experience that was magnified a little !!!

50 km from the epicenter (Budapest) : Some 2 secs of slight movement in floor and walls.

UPDATE 19:12 UTC :Video link to the news footage of HirTV (Magyar) – Click here

UPDATE 19:07 UTC : People ran on the streets and stayed there for some time as they were scared for aftershocks. The earthquake was widely felt all over the country.

UPDATE 18:59 UTC : Testimonies declared that the shaking lasted 5 to 10 seconds. Scared people called a lot the emergency services to find out what was happening.

UPDATE 18:58 UTC : The earthquake was very well felt in Budapest, the capital of Hungary.

UPDATE 18:56 UTC : Hungarian seismological services are reporting a magnitude of 4.8 at a depth of 15 km. Following their findings, the epicenter should be next to Oroszlány, a city of 20,271 inhabitants.

UPDATE 18:52 UTC : EMSC testimony out of Budapest (50 km from the epicenter) : “Building swayed perhaps half a meter for 5 seconds or so.  Lights were swaying slowly afterwards.”

UPDATE 18:39 UTC : EMSC is reporting a magnitude of 4.7 at a depth of 20 km which makes this earthquake moderately dangerous for this very populated area.
EMSC epicenter location is just outside Vertessomlo

Unusual (weak) earthquake near Budapest Hungary.
The earthquake was very shallow at 13 km and close to the city of Székesfehérvár.
The location of the epicenter can still hold an error, which makes it uncertain below which village or town the epicenter was located.
As it is calculated now the epicenter is right below Irtapuszta. The area is very populated.

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : Mw 4.2 (USGS) and M 4.7 (EMSC)
UTC Time : Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 17:41:38 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 06:41:38 PM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 8.3 (USGS) and 20 km (EMSC)
Send an “earthquake experience report” for this earthquake
Geo-location(s) :
54 km (34 miles) W (273°) from BUDAPEST, Hungary
6 km NE Oroszlány (pop 20,271)
33 km NW Székesfehérvár (pop 103,772)

Links to important maps
Eearthquake Report Did You Feel It Map
USGS Did You Feel It Map
Google satellite map of the area showing the kind of terrain the earthquake took place

USGS historic earthquakes map
USGS Seismic hazard map

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Comments

  1. Tony says:

    I was in Oroszlány at the time – it was as if there was a huge explosion somewhere nearby – the whole building felt like someone had given it a quick jolt!. It happened without any warning (no tremor, nothing – just a deep BANG). Everyone in the building made there way outside – I left shortly to make my way home in a nearby village where the effects were slower and lesser. On the way home I saw that the whole town had come out of there houses (which are mainly maisonettes and tall flats) mainly for safety – even though it was -12 degrees Centigrade outside.

  2. Eva says:

    This was my first experience of an earhquake. I was sitting on the edge of my bed and suddenly it felt like someone was shaking it very strongly (or as if an undergroung train went past immedately beneath the floor). It lasted about 5 seconds. Then my son called out from the neighbouring room, telling me the sofa had been shaking underneath him, and a framed photo had nearly fallen off the bookshelf. It was inetersting rather than scary, as big earthquakes are almost non-existent in Hungary, and I did not expect anything too bad to happen.
    I was in Budapest at the time, in the Buda hills.

  3. Miklos says:

    The name of the city at the epicentre is Oroszlány instead of Oroszlánynál.

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