Earthquakes shake Liechtenstein parliament during quake insurance debate

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By Matthew Holroyd
The tremors were felt as MPs were debating about earthquake insurance.
The tremors were felt as MPs were debating about earthquake insurance.   -   Copyright  Landtag   -  

In the middle of a debate in Liechtenstein's Landtag on Thursday afternoon, a 4.1 magnitude earthquake was felt -- just as the MPs discussed whether the small European nation needs to mandate insurance in the event of quakes.

Video footage published by the Landtag shows how two tremors were felt in the building within a matter of seconds.

The first earthquake drew a smile and laugh from FBP lawmaker Bettina Petzold-Mähr, who had been speaking.

The second, larger tremor shook the parliament building more violently, prompting the President of the Landtag, Albert Frick, to temporarily halt the session and evacuate the chamber.

Liechtenstein police said they received a "large number of calls from concerned citizens" following the earthquakes, which were measured at 2.4 and 3.9 magnitudes.

"So far, no personal injuries or property damage are known," they added in a statement.

According to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre, the larger tremor struck at 13.57 CEST, with an epicentre around 19 kilometres south of the Austrian city of Dornbirn.

The earthquakes were reportedly felt in parts of Austria and Switzerland, as well as the southern German states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg.

In October 2020, Iceland's Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir was interrupted during a press interview when a 5.6-magnitude earthquake hit the country.

Earlier that year, New Zealand's PM Jacinda Ardern was also interrupted by an earthquake during a live television interview.