At 06:32 on April 21 2022, a large earthquake hit 138 kilometres west of Florø, measured to be between 4.4 and 5.1 on Richter scale. It did not cause damage or destruction on the mainland, but the shakes were clearly felt by people on the west coast of Norway.
People have told Norwegians newspapers that covered the story (NRK and VG) that the shake was strong enough to wake them up from sleep, and people believed it to be a landslide or rock slide before realizing it was in fact an earthquake. Some people feared that their house would collapse due to the shakes, but luckily no buildings have been reported to have been damaged.
The magnitude of the earthquake has been measured between 4.4 and 4.6 by the University of Bergen, and 5.1 by NORSAR. If the 5.1 figure is the most correct one, this means that it’s the biggest earthquake to hit Norway in 33 years.
Despite that, the earthquake is not believed to have been strong enough to cause damage or destruction to objects on land.
The earthquake could be felt clearly in cities like Ålesund, Molde, Stavanger, Bergen, Egersund, Haugesund, and of course in Florø (directly west of the epicenter). You can see a map of the epicenter on Earthquake Track.
There are also reports of people on the eastern part of the country that claimed to have felt it. Witnesses put the duration of the earthquake to be between 5 and 8 seconds, but this has not yet been verified by geologists and seismologists.
Earthquakes can be felt roughly every 10 years on the west coast
Earthquakes are very rare in Norway, but earthquakes in the ocean west of the Norwegian coast are pretty common. However, they are usually not strong enough to be felt by people on land.
Strong earthquakes that can be felt by people usually happens every 10 years, so these are uncommon. Most of them are felt as small shakes for a few seconds, and are typically not strong enough to move objects inside houses or cause much of a concern for people.
The biggest earthquake in modern Norwegian history happened in 1904 with a big earthquake that was measured to be 5.4 on the Richter scale. This earthquake has an epicenter just outside of Oslo, and caused damage to buildings and infrastructure on both Oslo and the surrounding cities.
Oil platform Snorre B has been shut down
The oil platform Snorre B has been shut down temporarily, due to the fact that this was pretty close to the epicenter. Oil platforms like these are build to withstand earthquakes with this size, but the shutdown is made as a safety measurement to make sure that no equipment has been damaged.
They are currently operating underwater drones to check that no underwater equipment or pipes have been damaged. It is believed that they will start operations again as soon as all equipment and pipes have been checked for damage.