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Minor earthquake rumbles in Northern Ostrobothnia

Kuusamo is located in a seismically active area prone to quakes that usually register under 2.0 on the Richter scale.

Maanjäristys Kuusamossa.
The epicentre of the earthquake was located about 11 kilometres from the town of Kuusamo, Northern Ostrobothnia. Image: Yle

An earthquake measuring 2.0 on the Richter scale hit the town of Kuusamo, in the region of Northern Ostrobothnia, at about 6PM on Sunday evening.

Toni Veikkolainen, a seismologist with the Institute of Seismology at the University of Helsinki, told Yle that the epicentre of the quake was located about 11 kilometres west of the town.

The institute received several reports of buildings shaking and windows rattling, Veikkolainen added.

Kuusamo resident Jokke Kämäräinen was at his home near the shores of Lake Kuusamo, a couple of kilometres from the city centre, when the earthquake struck.

"It felt very strong. I coincidentally leaned against the outer wall at the same time as the quake began and I immediately wondered why the house was shaking and the windows were rattling so much," Kämäräinen said, adding that the seismic activity lasted just over ten seconds.

The Kuusamo region is one of the most seismically active areas in Finland, extending onto the Russian side of the border as far as the town of Kandalaksha (Kantalahti in Finnish) in the District of Murmansk Oblast.

Quakes in the area are linked by the fact that they occur deep below ground.

Another resident of the town, Katariina Nissi, told Yle that she first thought the shaking of her home’s walls was caused by an airplane flying very low over her house.

"There have been such sensations here in Kuusamo before, in the early 2000s, but never before has there been such a loud rumble," Nissi said, adding that on this occasion the quake felt so big that she was worried about the effects of the vibration.

"I said to my husband that this could be scary if there are more. However, there were no more tremors," she said.

According to the Institute of Seismology, there are about one hundred earthquakes in Finland every year, all of which typically register less than 3 in magnitude on the Richter scale.

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