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Minor earthquakes shake buildings in southern city of Kouvola

The largest of ten quakes measured 2.0 in magnitude, according to the Institute of Seismology at Helsinki University.

The earthquake swarm occurred in the city of Kouvola in southeast Finland. Image: Benjamin Suomela / Yle

A series of minor earthquakes hit the city of Kouvola in southern Finland early on Sunday morning, according to a press release from the Institute of Seismology at the University of Helsinki.

"The first earthquake occurred as early as 2:49 a.m. and the strongest earthquake in the morning, at 4:48 a.m., had a magnitude of 2.0 [on the Richter scale]. By seven in the morning, seismic stations had registered 10 earthquakes," the press release read.

The regional emergency response centre received several reports after five in the morning of loud banging noises and buildings shaking in the Koria residential district of the city.

Both the police and rescue services have begun investigations into the matter, but no accidents or incidents related to the series of quakes have so far been detected.

"Citizens who reported this experienced their building shake, or vibrations, or heard banging noises," on-duty firefighter Asko Rouhiainen told Yle. "There has been nothing concrete yet like cracks appearing anywhere. There have occasionally in the past been similar series of earthquakes here in the Kouvola area."

About 100 earthquakes per year in Finland

According to the Institute of Seismology, earthquake swarms -- sequences of seismic events occurring in a localised area within a short period of time -- do occur from time to time in the rapakivi granite area of south-eastern Finland, and this overnight case may be the latest example.

A more detailed analysis will be carried out over the coming days, the institute added.

Since 2011, dozens of earthquakes have been recorded every year in the Kouvola region. Most are very small cases, but a few have received national media attention.

In addition to Kouvola, other areas of seismic activity in Finland include Kuusamo in the Northern Ostrobothnia region and the Tornio River Valley in Lapland.

The Institute of Seismology has previously estimated that there are about one hundred earthquakes in Finland every year, all of which typically register less than 3 in magnitude on the Richter scale.