French Alps earthquake map
© Screengrab SisMalp
Residents in one part of the French Alps are starting to grow a little concerned after the area was hit by 140 earthquakes in the last 40 days. Those living in the Maurienne part of Savoie in the French Alps have been getting used to being shaken awake at night in recent weeks.

Earthquake observation organisation Sismalp have registered 140 minor tremors in the region in the last 40 days. The strongest tremor registered 3.8 on the Richter scale. While none of the earthquakes have caused any structural damage, they are starting to fray the nerves of locals, who have been briefed about how to act in the case of a powerful tremor.

"The noise is like a storm coming from far way. Everything shakes. I said 'that's it, all the tiles are going to break," Martine a resident of the village of Montgellafray told Europe1 radio. "The last earthquake was really frightening. Since the end of August it has never stopped.

Every two days there is one and they are getting more common." Another resident of the village, named Yves said: "Everyone is asking questions. Everyone in the village is talking about it."

Seismologists say they are unable to explain the increase in the number of earthquakes in the region, but have placed five new sensors in the valley to "monitor and better understand the phenomenon".

After a series of quakes along the French Riviera in 2014 a specialist seismologist told The Local that south east France would be hit by a big earthquake at some point in time. "We don't know when a big one will come, but it will and there will be fatalities," he said.