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Earthquakes rattle Liechtenstein as lawmakers debate quake insurance

Banking And Economy In Liechtenstein's Capital
Liechtenstein's parliament building stands in Peter-Kaiser Platz square in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, May 20, 2013. Valentin Flauraud/Bloomberg/Getty

Berlin — Two earthquakes hit Liechtenstein just as lawmakers in the tiny Alpine principality were debating the pros and cons of quake insurance. 

Lawmaker Bettina Petzold-Maehr had just warned that the chances of all Liechtenstein citizens being affected by an earthquake striking the country were high when the first small temblor hit shortly before 2 p.m. (6 a.m. Eastern) Thursday.
Petzold-Maehr laughed and continued until the second quake struck, visibly shaking the room. At that point she stopped speaking to look around the chamber.

Liechtenstein lawmaker Bettina Petzold-Maehr pauses during remarks to the tiny principality's landtag, or parliament, after a second small earthquake shook the chamber during a debate about national earthquake insurance, September 2, 2022. Liechtenstein Landtag TV

That's when the parliament's speaker Albert Frick interrupted:  "This is getting a bit much, you never know if there'll be aftershocks," he said, announcing a 15-minute recess.
Records by the German Research Centre for Geosciences showed a magnitude 4 earthquake hit Liechtenstein, which is sandwiched between Switzerland and Austria, Thursday afternoon.
Liechtenstein police said no injuries or damage were reported, and gave a magnitude of 3.9 for the quake.
Liechtenstein has a population of just under 39,000 and a surface area of 62 square miles, making it slightly smaller than Washington, D.C.

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