How much danger are we in from earthquakes?

Swiss Seismological Service

The Swiss Seismological Service has released a study which shows how the country would be affected if there was a large earthquake – and which areas are most at risk.

The cities most vulnerable are Basel, Geneva, Zurich, Lucerne and Bern. In that order.

The study points out there are many buildings which are highly vulnerable, mainly because they’ve been built on soft ground which amplifies tremors.  

While the chance of an earthquake remains rare, researchers say statistically speaking every person in Switzerland will experience one earthquake sufficient to cause damage at least once in their lives. 

The last major quaked was in January 1946 which hit Siders in Valais. It measured 5.8 on the Richter Scale. Four people died and 3,500 buildings damaged.

If it happened now, as there are more buildings and people, it’s estimated 50 would die, 10,000 would be homeless and the damage would be valued at CHF 5bn. 


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