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Southeastern France rocked by 5.4-magnitude earthquake

The earthquake struck in Montelimar, just before midday on Monday.
The earthquake struck in Montelimar, just before midday on Monday. France 24

An unusually strong earthquake hit southeastern France on Monday, seriously injuring at least one person, authorities said.

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The quake, with a magnitude of 5.4, was felt in a vast area between the cities of Lyon and Montelimar which are about 150 kilometres (93 miles) apart, the national seismological office said.

“I was leaning against the oven in my mother’s bakery when I felt the tremor,” said Victoria Brielle, a resident in Privas, some 25 kilometres from the quake’s epicentre.

“A customer’s crockery toppled over and everything broke,” she said.

Another resident in the area, Didier Levy, who lives in a 15th century castle, told AFP that “chandeliers were still trembling” several minutes after the quake.

Levy, who said his dog starting barked even before humans felt the tremors, added: “I have never experienced anything like it, I could feel the trembling even though these walls are one metre thick.”

One person was seriously hurt when a scaffolding collapsed, the regional governor’s office said.

Three other people in the neighbouring Ardeche region were slightly injured, AFP reported.

The regional governor’s office added that there was no serious damage recorded in any nearby buildings — and no damage at all at the nearby nuclear power plant of Tricastin.

According to messages posted on social networks, a slight jolt was felt in Montpellier, Lyon, St Etienne, Grenoble, Avignon and Marseille.

 (FRANCE 24 with AFP and AP)

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