Moderate but shallow earthquake strikes Zug and Zurich area, Switzerland - NO damage

Earthquake overview : A moderate 4.1 magnitude earthquake struck the greater Zurich area on late Saturday night (local time).
"I have Felt it" Reports --> see below + Let us know "how you have felt this earthquake"
To read the full story as it happened, we advise our readers to start at the lower part of the page (earthquake data).
Switzerland-Only real-time earthquake list

Epicenter area - image courtesy Riccola

Update 12/02 - 09:32 UTC : Based on reports in the Swiss press, and as predicted by, NO damage has been inflicted.

Update 00:50 UTC : The Swiss seismological agency has been measuring a magnitude of 4.2. Also the Swiss seismological agency does not expect any damage from this earthquake. The epicenter was located in between the Zugersee and the Zurchersee (Zug lake and Zurich lake). Manual calculations have concluded that the hypocenter of depth of the earthquake was at a depth of 30 km, a reason why the earthquake hasn't been harder felt above the epicenter.

Update : The earthquake has lasted 26 seconds but only a few seconds have been well felt by the people.

Update : Based on our experiences and if the current preliminary data are confirmed, we are convinced that NO serious damage or injuries is expected.
GFZ has recalculated the depth to a less dangerous 16 km and has decreased the magnitude to 4.0. Both main data indicators are becoming less dangerous.

Image courtesy USGS

Update : USGS, the United States Seismological Agency is reporting a magnitude of 4.1 at a depth of 16 km. The epicenter is following USGS located at 16 km of Zurich.

Update : The earthquake has been felt until Liechtenstein, Germany (southern border) and France (eastern part).

Update : the lines below shows all 3 important seismological agencies with slightly different values. All these values are to be seen as non-damaging.
EMSC (Europe)    Switzerland    Feb 11 22:45 PM    M 4.2    Depth 32.0 km
USGS    (United States) Switzerland    Feb 11 22:45 PM    M 4.1    Depth 16.0 km
GEOFON   (Germany)  Switzerland    Feb 11 22:45 PM    M 4.0    Depth 19.0 km
Schweizerischer Erdbebendienst : M 4.2 Depth 32 km

Update : small aftershocks may be expected the following hours and days. For Swiss norms these aftershocks maybe very disturbing. Seldom are aftershocks bigger in size than the initial mainshock

A moderate but shallow earthquake hit the greater Zurich area local time 23:45

Historic earthquakes since 1990 (21 years) - image courtesy USGS GOOGLE+ / FACEBOOK
"I Have Felt It" reports as received by
Brugg - Light shaking indicated
Near Zug - Earthquake 23:45 CH time, In the news they told its level 4 close to Zug
4310 - 3 - 4 seconds rattled glass doors in sitting room
Zurich city 8038 - I heard a LOUD noise going thru the town. Sort of humming and low freqency sounds. Then house shaked (3rd floor). My IKEA Billy CD shelve fell!. No structural damage to house.
Zürich - Es hat zweimal gerüttelt und gegenstände im zimmer haben vibriert
Weil am Rhein - It was shaking quite well
Zürich, Hausen am Albis - Vers 11:45 le 11 février 2012: la maison a tremblé, l'impression d'une explosion lointaine
Meggen - Shaking then boom which rattled windows hard. Gave the sense of an explosion more than an earthquake.
Switzerland - Felt as if a cargo train was driving by just outside the house.
Dettighofen - Weak shaking indicated
Liestal : Wir spürten einen heftigen Schub im Dachstock des Hauses, wo wir waren. Da es vorher stark windete, dachten wir erst an eine heftige Böe, doch nun war es doch ein Erdbeben ......Kommt jetzt the big one in Basel?
Switzerland - Wie ein Schlag, dann ein 3 - 4 Sek. zittern des Hauses einhergehend mit Lärm
Zurich - Weak shaking indicated
Schaffhausen - It was shaking really hard but only a few seconds. It was like the neighbor in a old house jump up and down. The windows glass was shaking
Boswil - Ein Schütteln, dass das Geschirr in den Schränken zum Klirren gebracht hat. Zudem ein Lärm, wie ein starker Windstoss. Es hat sich angefühlt, als wenn eine Expolsion in der Nähe passiert wäre.
Baar - Initial noise of bang followed by rattling of windows, and then a moderate swaying -whole sequence of events lasting about 15-20 seconds. Some rumbling also heard as if the explosion was buried beneath the house.
4704 Niederbipp / BE - Vorhin starkes, kurzes Schütteln Erdbeben. Zeit: 23.45 - 11.02.2012 Verspürt in 4704 Niederbipp / BE
Affoltern am Albis - We were startled by the strong force on our roof top apartment. When it happened we all looked up at the roof wondering what it was.
Zurich : Two large jolts, three seconds apart. Sounded like it was upstairs on first floor. Heard humming noises before each jolt. I thought someone was breaking into the house. My wife is from California and she knew right away it was an earthquake. She was sound asleep and was woken up by the bed moving
Oerlikon : We did feel 2 time of moderate shaking when we are watching TV on 11:45pm, felt like somebody falling down from his bed, quickly run and check my daughter room, luckily nothing happen to them, still sleeping. This is the first time in our life for earthquake experience. Amazing !
Forch : The shaking woke me up and then I became aware of the strange humming noise. Thought it was some machinery, but this morning thought that maybe it was an earthquake
Zurich : Where 2 shaking, an interval of 5,7 seconds in between each other.
Dübendorf : Ich hörte einen Knall wie wenn ein Auto in eine Maer fährt. Die Erschütterung war nur sehr kurz (ich schätze weniger als 2 Sekunden)
Ruschlikon : The  windows shook and there were two jolts a few seconds apartment. We called a few friends in Thalwil and they felt it too. Clearly am earthquake. My first too, so quite surreal.
Zug : Lying in bed there was low humming the two strong jolts a couple of seconda apart. Modern building moved sufficiently to be felt
Zurich : The shaking was strong enough to wake me up, and a loud noise (something falling?) woke up my husband.  We live on the 4th floor, and the whole building was swaying for approximately 15 seconds.
Geroldswil : We heard a big "bang" first and felt the quake for about 1-2 seconds.
Zurich Oerlikon : I was lying down on my bed and suddenly felt that the building was shaking (6th floor). I was preparing get out of the building if it repeats, but fortunately it didn't happen again.
Wallisellen - prima ho sentito un rumore strano (sembrava dovesse esplodere qualcosa) poi ha iniziato a tremare tutto
Zurich 8008 - 2 sharp clearly P-wave jolts, no S-wave activity at all. (Thought a tram had derailed and hit my building). First assumed there was no way this was a quake...(from Pacific NW and Nisqually quake veteran).
Zurich : We felt it in our building - a new, very solid building - think made of concrete.  The floor firmly shook and moved back and forth sideways under my feet - it was also a bit like a vibration within the shaking.  Then we heard a couple of loud bangs.  My neighbor on the same floor (2nd) felt and heard it the same way I did, but our neighbors on a higher floor (4th) felt it as an up and down movement instead of a sideways movement.  We were all alarmed and thought it could be someone with a large car ramming the outside of our building on the street level or pillars in our basement garage.  Our upstairs neighbor called the Swiss emergency number and the operator said it was an earthquake.  My husband slept through it and a friend on other side of the lake said she didn't feel anything.   Colleague friends of the neighbor on our floor felt it in Zug.  Everyone who felt it was freaked out!
Zürich - 2 explosions sourdes, quelques secondes de tremblement vraiment sensibles puis encore quelques secondes tres faibles ou seulement les objets tres exopsés bougaient.
near Zug : Earthquake 23:45 CH time, in the news they told its level4 close to Zug
Langnau am Albis, near Zurich : I heard a loud bang and the wall shook for a couple of seconds. It woke my daughter but my sons slept through it.
Zürich 8003 : we live 4th floor in Zurich 8003, I felt like we are falling, similar feeling like when a aeroplane has an airhole ....
Laufenburg Deutschland : wie ein vorbeiziehender "Rums"
Dübendorf : The interesting thing was that I felt the first shock wave as if a wave was rushing up a beach and this was quickly followed by the shock wave that shook the furniture.  The first time in my life I have felt an earthquake and it was short but impressive.  I thought something had blown up in the area.
Wollishofen - Felt like something big ran into the house. Like 2 big collisions into the house... the "boom" description makes sense.
Basel - Light shaking indicated
Cham - I barely noticed it. I was standing up and felt the floor sway slightly for a few seconds. I didn't really take any notice of it.
Kusnacht - I live close to the train tracks, at first I thought it was a loud cargo train. Definite jolt!
Oberaegeri - The house was shaking, I thought a snow plow had rammed the house...
Otelfingen - Bedroom window rattled for about 3 sec followed by a quick house vibration. I reckon the time occured was spot on.
Samstagern - We were on the sofa and felt a shifting, a kind of drop, or a bump rather than extended was over in a few seconds
Zurich - We heard a large bang and immediatley thought our son had fallen out of bed. A few seconds later the bed began to shake for about three seconds
Langnau am Albis - I was asleep and woke up feeling like perhaps a truck had driven into our house. I realized that based on how far from the main road we are, that wasn't possible, Then I thought that perhaps are roof had caved in from the snow.
Oetwil-am-See : Il était minuit moins le quart environ. Nous étions avec des amis dans notre salle de séjour.R. de ch sur cave. Maison en colombage du 18e S., isolée. Hameau.
Bruits précurseurs sourds: dans la maison, comme si quelqu'un secouait des portes ou bousculait des planches contre une paroi...(NB. curieusement ce bruit avait déjà été entendu la veille, la nuit précédente  ? était-ce le vent ou déjà des tremblements précurseurs ??). Bruit proche : clapet d'une chatière secoué comme si un chat voulait entrer (alors que notre chat dormait à nos côtés sur une chaise). Puis quelques temps après...Secousse principale: , maison fortement secouée comme par une brève explosion
(2 secondes!)(comme si un avion passait le mur du son juste au-dessous de nous ou comme si l'on avait fait exploser une mine dans les environs proches de la maion), par ailleurs (témoignage d'une autre personne dans la maison à l'étage)sorte de sifflement entendu  (un peu comme de la vapeur s'échappant d'une chaudière) bruit semblant venir du sous-sol (nous n'avons pas de chaudière dans la maison!).
Le secousse principale était vraimant impressionnante...nous n'avons toutefois pas immédiatement pensé à un tremblement de terre. J'ai fait une ronde dehors pour voir s'il n'y avait pas eu une explosion , voire un début d'incendie chez nos voisins. Tout était paisible.
Cham - I first heard a sort of thump then the whole building seemed to move as if something had hit it. At first I thought it was a shockwave from an explosion or possibly even a bomb.
Glattfelden - Felt a shudder and then a vibrating thud, but over in a matter of seconds
Wadenswil - Was watching TV and suddenly felt a strong vibration. We're on the ground floor and didn't feel much else. I'd say the vibration was stronger than those I've felt when I was in Japan. I turned on my Seismometer after the vibration but it recorded nothing
Buhl - Porte d'une armoire qui a vibré pendant 5-6 secondes
Zurich - When I was sitting on the sofa, i felt that my sofa was shaking a bit. I realised that definitely it is an minor earthquake but was not sure untill i saw your report.
Berikon : Was in bed (3rd floor) and felt 2 lurching, "explosion" like movements, seconds apart. Felt like the garage door to our concrete house had been crashed into....but no sound of metal or breaking glass. No damage in house, my husband only awakened because I got up to see if the garage door was still there. :-)
War im Bett (3. Stock) und spürte zwei abrupte "explosion"-ähnliche Bewegungen, in Abstand von zwei Sekunden. Es fühlte sich an, als ob jemand mit einem Auto in unsere Garagentür reingefahren wäre...aber keine Metal- oder klrrende Glasgeräusche. Keine Beschädigung weder in oder ums Haus; mein schlafender Mann wachte nur auf, weil ich aufgestanden bin, um unsere Garagentür zu inspizieren, die noch dar war. :-)
Zurich, 8051 : When sitting on the sofa 2x shaking a bit. 8. floor.
Switzelrnad Wangen bei Dübendorf :  Was in bed, awake with candle burning, so quiet - wall shook as if it had been hit by a freight train - nothing fell off wall - was suprised to see no cracks as felt very intense. Checked on daughters room and toys still on shelves. No doubt that it was an earthquake - fast but intense - not like the previous 2 have experienced here in last 12 years. Much more intensity - felt only up/down shake. No sense of foreboding that previous 2 earthquakes started with.
Zurich 8050 : At about 12 or so in the night there was a quite loud low sound/noise and then some shaking, then 2-3 quite strong hits so that we jumped on the bed and the hanging lamps were shaking. Afterwards there were some smaller hits, light shaking and the sound continued.
Our very old house is just above the underground tram tonnel which was rebuilt/repaired recently and we thought that it might be the house slowly falling down to the tonnel! The house is very old and had some cracks in the walls before. Now it looks like there are more cracks in the walls and on the balcony and the parket floor started to make sounds where there were no sounds before but we are not sure. We were scared and my husband even went outside and down to the tram stop to check what is going on. He, by the way, said that he felt something similar but not so strong for the last few days and it happened always in the night, so we first were thinking about some work going on undeneath. The house stays right on the highway with the airport in a close proximity and the tram tonnel undeneath, so the first thought was that something went wrong on the road, in the tonnel or the plain was flying too low above the house...
Bernau im Schwarzwald, Duitsland : Wij logeerden in Hotel Landgasthof Adler ( en rondom 00.00 uur hoorden eerst een grof gerommel en daarna trilde het gebouw waarbij de glazen en kopjes flink rinkelde. Het was eigenlijk net weer zo snel voorbij alsdat het begon. Daarna kijk je je verbaasd aan en vraag je je af wat dat nou was. Heb dus nu voor het eerst een aardbeving meegemaakt want dat hoorde ik vanochtend pas op het nieuws.
Zumikon : Heard a rumbling noise, my screens vibrated for 1 second.
Langnau am Albis : We were watching a thriller movie and we heard something falling in the house. My husband checked in the apartment if someone was there and checked if our 2 year old (sleeping peacefully in her bed) was fine. After he was back with the check we started watching the movie again and some minutes back there was a big bang as if someone broke in our house n both of us ran to see who was there. My first concern was if our daughter is fine n no one is there in her room (Not for a second we thought of an earthquake). We were thinking that some neighbour banged the door with so much force that the whole building jittered :-)
ThalWil : We were with friends in our apartment chatting post dinner when we heard a loud bang. Our apartment s located between the railway lines ( between Horgen and Thalwil Stations) and a train was just approaching  Thalwil station when we heard the first bang which was followed immediately by a louder second bang. Our glassware wardrobe and the glass windows rattled for a few seconds. Initially we suspected that the overhead cranes near our building may have come down. Eventually we concluded that it may have been a mild earthquake
Wilen : Sitting on the lounge and it definitely shook.  Strong vibration
Beinwil Freiamt : at first we felt a little rumble then we felt the house shake a loud booming sound a little louder than a shot gun  sound when its fired.
Samstagern : Strange mechanical noise followed by strong shaking approx 4 seconds. Glasses in cupboards rattled.
Uster : My husband and children all came running out their bedrooms when it struck.  It sounded to me that my daughter had jumped off her bed and made a huge bang.  I also felt like a big truck or similar had driven down the street and shook the house but obviously this was the earthquake.
Linthal : comme si un camion charge de tonne n arrivait pas a monter la pente
Steinhausen : Reading the descriptions of "humming", "vibration" and "jolt"...not our experience at all.  It was 23:45, my wife and I were preparing for bed when we both experienced a deep bass-like thump...followed almost immediately by the house shaking for 2-3 seconds.  Very bomb or explosion like.  My first thought was that a nearby polystyrene mfg facility (that burned to the ground a few years ago) had exploded.  Cause to evacuate our children.  Quick call to 117.  The local Swiss police reply: "oh it is the test we do for the end of the world once every two years". LOL.
Bahnhof Wiedikon, Zurich : We live in Ground floor. We usually feel the vibration of running train underground. Around 11.45 pm, my husband was asleep and i was awake on the bed, above to sleep and i felt and saw bed was shaking, followed by some strange sounds that shook furniture. i don't know what's happening. My first thought was collision happened from underground train track and then i thought it was from first floor Neighbour and slept off. One of my friends posted about the earth quake on the facebook. then i came to know that it's earth quake. First time in my life, i felt the earth quake experience. it was scary for me.

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 4.1 (SE: 4.2)
UTC Time : Saturday, February 11, 2012 at 22:45:25 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Saturday, February 11, 2012 at 11:45:25 PM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 16 km (SE 32 km)
Geo-location(s) :
14 km S Zurich (pop 341,730)
3 km S Horgen (pop 17,843)
2 km N Hirzel (pop 1,874)

Links to important maps
USGS Did You Feel It Map
Google satellite map showing the epicenter and the surrounding area
Historic earthquakes map
Seismic hazard map
Focal mechanism report
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I did feel it – Ik heb het gevoeld – Το έκανα αισθάνεται Yo lo he sentido – 我的确感到了 – 私はそれを感じていました- Ich habe es gefühlt – Bunu hissediyorum yaptı – لم أشعر أنه


  1. Shawn Haugen says:

    our neighbor upstairs thought it was an explosion!

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