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Unusual occurrence

Swedes wake up to earthquake on west coast

Published måndag 6 augusti 2012 kl 09.09
"It has created a bit of a fuss"
(5:01 min)
Aerial photo of the southwest coast of Sweden. Photo: Björn Larsson/Scanpix

Residents living on the southwest coast of Sweden were awakened early this morning by an earthquake in the sea between Sweden and Denmark. The quake had a magnitude of 4.4 on the Richter scale. Its epicenter was 61 kilometers west of the southern city of Halmstad.

"I heard a rumbling noise and thought it was thundering again. But then it got louder and the house started to shake and I sat up in bed and wondered what on earth was going on," Margareta Danielsson, a resident of Haverdal, told Swedish Radio News.

Police in Halmstad received about 30 calls directly after the earthquake, which occurred at about 5 a.m. this morning.

"We are on the fourth floor here in Halmstad. Our computer screens and windows shook a little. It wasn't worse than that," Magnus Bartholdsson with the police in Halland said.

According to seismologist Reynir Bödvarsson, a quake of this magnitude is unusual in Sweden. "These kinds of earthquakes happen about once in 10 years in the Sweden-Denmark area," she told TT news agency.

Bödvarsson said a quake of this magnitude does not tend to cause much damage, but he said there might be some small follow-up tremors.

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