An earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale has struck near the Loire Valley in western France.
Thousands of people felt the tremor when it struck around 8.50am on Friday near the town of Bressuire, though no damage was immediately reported. Alarmed residents reported the quake from as far afield as Normandy in the north, and Bordeaux in the south.
Reports also flooded in from the cities of Le Mans, Nantes, Rennes and Caen. It comes after a quake of magnitude 4.9 struck around 30 miles north of Bordeaux in late March this year.
Earthquakes of such magnitude are considered moderate but are relatively rare in France, though dozens of moderate quakes are recorded each year. The last deadly earthquake to hit France occurred in 1909 when a magnitude 6 tremor struck in the town of Lambesc in Provence.
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