‘It was like an explosion’: Western France shaken by 4.8 magnitude earthquake

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Residents in western France were given a fairly rude awakening at 4am on Monday morning when they were shaken from their sleep by an earthquake measuring 4.8 magnitude.

The epicentre of the tremor, which didn’t cause any injuries or fatalities, was reported to have been close to the town of Saint-Hilaire-de-Voust in the Vendée department of western France, which stands close to the department of Deux-Sèvres.

Residents in the area were left trembling and reports suggest the tremors were felt as far away as the city of Poitiers, 100 kilometres from the epicentre.

A baker in the town of Busseau told RMC radio: “I was in my bakery and then it was like a big explosion, a terrible shock, we thought a truck had crashed into a wall.”

A baker in the town of Châtaigneraie added: “I was scared. I thought it was an explosion. There was a ‘boom’ for a few seconds, maybe five seconds. It’s happened before but it’s never been that powerful.”

The mayor of the town of 2,700 residents Nicolas Maupetit told France Info radio: “I thought there had been an accident perhaps a lorry which had crashed into a house nearby. I felt the house shake. I grabbed my telephone in case people started calling. I have to say my heart was racing.”

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