Earthquakes, tsunamis… When we think of natural disasters, it is often distant, exotic countries, or even our overseas territories that come to mind.

But if the seismic activity is moderate in Europe, and in France, “destructive earthquakes have taken place in the past and will recur in the future”, warns the government site.

In 1909, an earthquake of magnitude 6.2 on the Richter scale was triggered in Basse-Provence, causing serious material damage from Salon-de-Provence to Montpellier. The terrible human toll reported 46 dead.

It is the strongest earthquake the country has ever experienced to date. Because France is not immune to these natural disasters.

More recently, in 2019, the city of Teil (Ardèche) was the epicenter of a magnitude 4.9 earthquake, so powerful that the inhabitants of the region initially believed in the explosion of a nuclear power plant. . 825 homes in the municipality were seriously damaged.

“The seismicity in metropolitan France comes mainly from the balancing, inside the Eurasia plate, of the movements induced by the collision movement of the Eurasia and Africa plates. History shows that earthquakes having had serious consequences have occurred in different places in the territory”, explains the site

Earthquakes, even small ones, can cause serious damage, destroying many houses and causing serious economic consequences in the regions where they occur.

Since 2010, the authorities have been closely monitoring seismic activity in metropolitan France. France is thus divided into 5 zones:

In the last four cases, certain rules must be applied in terms of construction.

In our slideshow, discover the French departments most at risk from earthquakes.