Minor earthquake shakes northern Ruhr Coal-mining district in western Germany

Last update: December 21, 2013 at 12:44 pm by By

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Local seismological observatories of Ruhruniversity Bochum and University Cologne mention this quake with Magnitude 3.0, while others like Geofon give M 3.5. It was felt in parts of Haltern am See and Dorsten, the towns near the epicenter. People report a strong shaking early in the morning, glasses fall from tables and christmas stuff began to swing. No damage was reported so far, but some people were so frightened, that they called police. It is the strongest quake hitting Germany this year.
This quake was caused by the coal mining activity in Northern Ruhr area. A similar quake, M 2.5 – 3.0, which was also felt, happened in October this year, causing no damage.

Lokale Erdbebenwarten der Ruhruniversität Bochum und der Universität Köln geben dieses Erdbeben mit Magnitude 3.0 an, während es Geoforschungszentrum Potsdam und das Bundesamt für Geowissenschaften Magnitude 3.5 angeben. Das Erdbeben war deutlich in Teilen der Städte Haltern am See und Dorsten, wo das Epizentrum lag, spürbar. Zeugen von dort berichten von starken Erschütterungen am frühen Morgen. Demnach seien Gläser von Tischen gefallen und Weihnachtsdekoration in den Fenstern habe sich bewegt. Bislang wurden aber noch keine Gebäudeschäden gemeldet, obwohl viele Menschen durch das Erdbeben verängstigt wurden. Einige riefen sogar bei der Polizei an. Das heutige Erdbeben ist das stärkste, was in diesem Jahr in Deutschland registriert wurde.
Dieses Beben wurde durch die Bergbauaktivitäten im nördlichen Ruhrgebiet ausgelöst. Ein ähnliches Beben, Magnitude 2.5 bis 3.0, das ebenfalls deutlich in Haltern und Dorsten spürbar war, ereignete sich im Oktober, ohne Schäden zu verursachen.

Epicenter Haltern

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 3.5

Local Time (conversion only below land) : 2013-12-20 07:03:36

GMT/UTC Time : 2013-12-20 06:03:36

Depth (Hypocenter)  : 5 km

Depth and Magnitude updates in the list below.

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SRC Location UTC Date/time M D INFO
GEOFON Germany Dec 20 06:03 3.5 5 MAP I Felt It INFO
EMSC Germany Dec 20 06:03 3.5 2 MAP I Felt It INFO


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Country where you felt the earthquake
City/Village where you felt the earthquake
Street or suburb (area) where you felt the earthquake
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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