St Gallen earthquake: gas leak emergency blamed

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – A series of earthquakes, the worst of which was 3.6 in magnitude in the St Gallen area Saturday may have been provoked by emergency measures taken to protect workers at a geothermal borehole, the head of industrial services for the city told news media SonntagsZeitung Sunday.

An unexpected and gas leak “that could not have been predicted” suddenly put at risk the lives of people on the site, Ivo Schillig says. Engineers rapidly injected 650 m3 of water into the hole and took other measures to prevent the gas leaking out.

It wasn’t possible to predict that the emergency solution would provoke tremors, according to Schillig.

RTS public broadcasting, which carries a series of articles about geothermal drilling and different methods used, says the type of process employed in St Gallen has never before brought on an earthquake.

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