A rare earthquake struck central Europe today, with USGS reporting the epicenter was based in southwestern Poland. The earthquake, which struck at 2:53 pm time or 13:53 UTC, was centered roughly 4 km west of Rudna, Poland and had a depth of approximately 5 km. USGS pegged the intensity of today’s earthquake to be a 4.5 magnitude event.
Earthquakes in this part of Europe are rare and when they do occur, they are usually rather light. While rare, the Orawa-Nowy Targ Basin in the Carpathians is the best seismically recognized region in Poland. In November of 2004, a series of earthquakes here caused some light damage to buildings; similar events were recorded there in 1935 and 1717. In September 2004, there were magnitude 5.0 and 5.2 events in Kaliningrad in the area of the Precambrian Platform which prior to that incident was assumed to be aseismic. The earthquakes caused slight damage to individual buildings in more than 100 localities in northern and northeastern Poland.
The most recent earthquake to strike Poland occured on July 6, 2020 in Polkowice. That 4.9 earthquake created no structural damage, but it was the strongest earthquake to be recorded in that part of the country.