a magnitude of 3.5 earthquake wakes up the city, Fonroche announces the complete cessation of its activities

An earthquake of magnitude 3.5, whose epicenter would be not far from La Wantzenau, was felt all over the Eurometropolis of Strasbourg at 6:59 a.m., and three tremors in total between 7 a.m. and 12 noon. The Fonroche deep geothermal power plant confirms that they are related to the tests carried out in the fall.

The computer is barely turned on in the Place de Bordeaux in Strasbourg, when there is an explosion, my office vibrates, as do the windows, a powerful vibrate. Neither one nor two, I am going to the site of the National Seismic Monitoring Network, whose office is in Strasbourg and indeed the Earth shook not far from La Wantzenau at 6:59 a.m. exactly Friday, December 4. An earthquake with a magnitude of 3.5, called an “induced” event. This means that this earthquake was caused directly or indirectly by human activity. In reality, they were three vibrations felt by the residents in the morning. One at 6:59 am, a smaller one after that and a third shortly after 11 am.

Patrice Heintz, communications manager at Fonroche, confirms the link with the Reichstett-Vendenheim deep geothermal power plant. “The earthquake is related to the episodes of rock retreat following the tests conducted in the fall. The procedure for a total cessation of activity was started as soon as the event was observed this morning, knowing that we stopped everything essential,” only the safety water flow circulated which will therefore also be stopped. But this will take time, a priori a month, it must be done in stages to avoid overreaction of the rock “, specifies Patrice Heintz.

The responses were simply fast on social networks. Starting with the elected opposition member for the city of Strasbourg, Alain Fontanel, who points to geothermal energy. “A strong magnitude of 3.5 for this 11th earthquake in a month. This increased frequency and strength again raises the question of deep geothermal energy in our territory. It is our own safety and that of people that I want an immediate moratorium and a truly transparent debate in the context of a real citizens’ convention, as I proposed again last Saturday to the mayor of Strasbourg and to the president of the metropolis. and stop drilling 5 km deep in our basement until we can explain these effects . ” Of course, focus on the Fonroche deep geothermal power plant in Reichstett-Vendenheim, which triggered a series of micro-earthquakes after testing last October.

Same story for the chosen LR Jean-Philippe Vetter, “It is necessary to determine whether this earthquake is the result of Fonroche’s geothermal activities. If so, all this becomes more and more worrying”, he says in his post.

In La Wantzenau, the epicenter of the earthquake as almost always, the residents cannot stand it after this umpteenth episode since the start of the school year. “I was shocked in my bed, I was afraid to leave, of course I was thinking about Fonroche, this resident testifies, the bathroom cabinet was shaking, gling gling, tell this differently, it was impressive, we saw the walls moving, i have some small objects that fell, it’s not commonthis mother adds, I want it to stop, it could be dangerous for some buildings, it has to stop. There were two tremors, the animals panicked, we wonder if there will be cracks in the walls “, this resident of La Wantzenau testifies again.

At the town hall, the phone keeps ringing while Mayor Michèle Kannengieser urgently organized an information meeting in the buildings of the town hall for residents looking for answers.

Information meeting at the town hall of La Wantzenau for the residents who came to search for answers about the earthquake this morning felt

Information meeting at the town hall of La Wantzenau for the residents who came to search for answers about the earthquake this morning felt

© Jérôme Gosset / France Televisions

This is clearly a matter of concern for Michèle Kannengieser, “we have particularly fragile structures, especially the wastewater treatment plant that worries me, without understanding the old habitat that was not built according to earthquake-resistant rules, it is out of the question to perpetuate this risky situation”.

Many Strasbourg residents, who testify on social networks, were also shaken up by the shock.

An earthquake felt around 30 kilometers, for example in Wilshausen or in Haguenau. In the morning a crisis meeting takes place in the prefecture with officials from Fonroche, the authorities and the DREAL, among others.

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