Unusually strong (rock burst ?) earthquake below Katowice Poland – All miners rescued, 5 injured

Last update: March 23, 2013 at 10:37 am by By


Update March 23 10:37 UTC: It is proved that this quake was caused by the mining. Many people reported light damage to their houses by the quake. Cracks in walls and on the ground, damaged bathroom equipment and also damage to some roads. They expect compensations by the mine operators.

Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 10.42.39Update March 20 09:29 UTC : Due to the power outage at our server hosting Dreamhost data center, we could not report on this dangerous earthquake like we normally do. Our prediction became unfortunately true. 18 miners were missing for several hours BUT have been rescued after many hours. 1 of the imprisoned miners was injured and 4 others were injured at other parts of the mine.
All the miners were send to nearby hospitals for checkups.
This is not a mine like we normally would imagine a mine would be. The underground tunnels are more like true highways where huge trucks are transporting ore to the mining facilities. All the area has tunnels like this. The mining company recently started a new exploration area but we do not know that yesterday’s earthquake was in this area or not.
We pledge the authorities to do something about this, this is not the first time it happens and the kind of earthquakes it is triggering are very near the damaging level. Dislocating people from the mining area or changing mining methods should be discussed. We recognize however the importance of the copper mine for Poland.

A moderate, but at the same time rather strong earthquake occurred in the greater Lubin area. This area is not unknown at earthquake-report.com, due to some similar a little weaker earthquakes in the same area.
In December 2011, a number of minders where killed in copper mines in the same area.
Also this earthquake was located at a depth of only 2 km which can be due to this mining.
Earlier article we have written about similar but deadly earthquakes in the same area :
Earthquake Poland December 30 2010

The epicenter area with a huge reservoir which is used by the copper mine - image courtesy Albien - "Żelazny Most"

The epicenter area with a huge reservoir which is used by the copper mine – image courtesy Albien – “Żelazny Most”

199 km NE of Prague, Czech Republic / pop: 1,165,581 / local time: 22:09:52.0 2013-03-19
57 km SE of Zielona Gora, Poland / pop: 118,433 / local time: 22:09:52.0 2013-03-19
5 km N of Polkowice, Poland / pop: 21,565 / local time: 22:09:52.0 2013-03-19
8 km SW of Grebocice, Poland / pop: 1,500 / local time: 22:09:52.0 2013-03-19

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 4.7

Local Time (conversion only below land) : 2013-03-19 22:09:53

GMT/UTC Time : 2013-03-19 21:09:53

Depth (Hypocenter)  : 2 km

Depth and Magnitude updates in the list below.

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Click on the “I Felt It” button behind the corresponding earthquake. Your earthquake experience is not only important for science, but also for people in the area as well as our global readership.

SRC Location UTC Date/time M D INFO
GEOFON Poland Mar 19 21:09 4.7 2 MAP I Felt It INFO
USGS Poland Mar 19 21:09 4.7 3 MAP I Felt It
  • Polkowice - We afraid of our lives. People run out of buildings. (via emsc) - ER: Polkowice is almost above the extremely shallow epicenter
  • Polkowice - Początkowo silne szarpnięcie następnie chwilę jeszcze bujał się cały blok, jedno z najsilniejszych tąpnięć jakie odczułem. (via emsc) - Initially a strong shock then it rocked the entire block, one of the strongest tremors felt.
  • Karczowiska - Pierwszy raz odkąd mieszkam (od 2008 r.) tąpnięcie odczuwalne w Karczowiskach (via emsc) - For the first time since I live (since 2008) rockburst was felt in Karczowiskach
  • EMSC Poland Mar 19 21:09 4.6 2 MAP I Felt It


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    MMI II (Very weak shaking) ?
    People :
    Felt by persons at rest, on upper floors or favorably placed.
    MMI III (Weak shaking) ?
    People :
    Felt indoors; hanging objects may swing, vibration similar to passing of light trucks, duration may be estimated, may not be recognized as an earthquake.
    MMI IV (Light shaking) ?
    People :
    Generally noticed indoors but not outside. Light sleepers may be awakened. Vibration may be likened to the passing of heavy traffic, or to the jolt of a heavy object falling or striking the building.
    Fittings :
    Doors and windows rattle. Glassware and crockery rattle. Liquids in open vessels may be slightly disturbed. Standing motorcars may rock.
    Structures :
    Walls and frames of buildings, and partitions and suspended ceilings in commercial buildings, may be heard to creak.
    MMI V (Moderate shaking) ?
    People :
    Generally felt outside, and by almost everyone indoors. Most sleepers awakened. A few people alarmed.
    Fittings :
    Small unstable objects are displaced or upset. Some glassware and crockery may be broken. Hanging pictures knock against the wall. Open doors may swing. Cupboard doors secured by magnetic catches may open. Pendulum clocks stop, start, or change rate.
    Structures :
    Some large display windows cracked. A few earthenware toilet fixtures cracked.
    MMI VI (Strong shaking) ?
    People Felt by all. People and animals alarmed. Many run outside. Difficulty experienced in walking steadily.
    Fittings :
    Objects fall from shelves. Pictures fall from walls. Some furniture moved on smooth floors, some unsecured free-standing fireplaces moved. Glassware and crockery broken. Very unstable furniture overturned. Small church and school bells ring. Appliances move on bench or table tops. Filing cabinets or "easy glide" drawers may open (or shut).
    Structures :
    Slight damage to buildings with low standard. Some stucco or cement plaster falls. Large display windows broken. Damage to a few weak domestic chimneys, some may fall.
    Environment :
    Trees and bushes shake, or are heard to rustle. Loose material may be dislodged from sloping ground, e.g. existing slides, talus slopes, shingle slides.
    MMI VII (Very strong shaking) ?
    People
    General alarm. Difficulty experienced in standing. Noticed by motorcar drivers who may stop.
    Fittings :
    Large bells ring. Furniture moves on smooth floors, may move on carpeted floors. Substantial damage to fragile contents of buildings.
    Structures :
    Unreinforced stone and brick walls cracked. Low standard buildings cracked with some minor masonry falls. A few instances of damage to buildings of ordinary workmanship. Unbraced parapets, unbraced brick gables, and architectural ornaments fall. Roofing tiles, especially ridge tiles may be dislodged. Many unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, often falling from roof-line. Water tanks Type I burst. A few instances of damage to brick veneers and plaster or cement-based linings. Unrestrained water cylinders (hot-water cylinders) may move and leak. Some common windows cracked. Suspended ceilings damaged.
    Environment :
    Water made turbid by stirred up mud. Small slides such as falls of sand and gravel banks, and small rock-falls from steep slopes and cuttings. Instances of settlement of unconsolidated or wet, or weak soils. Some fine cracks appear in sloping ground. A few instances of liquefaction (i.e. small water and sand ejections).
    MMI VIII (Severe shaking) ?
    People Alarm may approach panic. Steering of motorcars greatly affected. Structures : Low standard buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. ordinary workmanship buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged in some cases. A few instances of damage to buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes. Monuments and pre-1976 elevated tanks and factory stacks twisted or brought down. Some pre-1965 infill masonry panels damaged. A few post-1980 brick veneers damaged. Decayed timber piles of houses damaged. Houses not secured to foundations may move. Most unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, some below roof-line, many brought down. Environment : Cracks appear on steep slopes and in wet ground. Small to moderate slides in roadside cuttings and unsupported excavations. Small water and sand ejections and localized lateral spreading adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
    MMI IX (Violent shaking) ?
    Structures Many low standard buildings destroyed. Ordinary workmanship buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes damaged in some cases, some with flexible frames seriously damaged. Damage or permanent distortion to some buildings and bridges, designed and built to normal use standards. Houses not secured to foundations shifted off. Brick veneers fall and expose frames. Environment : Cracking of ground conspicuous. Landsliding general on steep slopes. Liquefaction effects intensified and more widespread, with large lateral spreading and flow sliding adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
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