Miners in Poland rescued after M4.6 earthquake caused tunnel collapse

Did you think there was no earthquake hazard in Central Europe? Don’t worry unless you live in Italy, Greece, or Turkey? Wrong! There’s significant hazard not only in W Germany, S Spain and on the Balkan Peninsula – take into account mining induced events, too…

An earthquake of magnitude 4.6 occurred in SW Poland last night in very shallow depth. 19 copper miners were trapped inside the mine for hours after a tunnel collapsed and communication was cut. All miners were rescued, one suffered minor injuries.

The area is known as the Lubin mining area (coal and copper) and one of the hot spots in Central Europe’s seismicity.

The seismicity map since 2004 (EMSC data) shows an astonishing number (> 2000) of small earthquakes in shallow depth.

Seismicity since 2004, EMSC data (http://www.emsc-csem.org/)

Here, mining induced seismicity seem to be a major cause, in contrast to the neighbouring Vogtland area where (volcanic) swarms regularly occur. Not only small quakes are known, but also events of magnitude 4.6 and above.

Seismicity in Central Europe since 1960 (EMSC)

Last night’s M4.6 event was loacally felt, although some media also report very minor shaking in Czech Republic and Germany, too:

EMSC’s felt reports (http://www.emsc-csem.org/)


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Christoph Grützner

Christoph Grützner

works at the Institute of Geological Sciences, Jena University. He likes Central Asia and the Mediterranean and looks for ancient earthquakes.

See all posts Christoph Grützner

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