Earthquake Simulator

Switzerland has two simulators where minor and more major earthquakes can be experienced in complete safety.

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The focusTerra museum in Zurich

The earthquake simulator in the focusTerra museum in Zurich, weighs more than 3 tonnes and can simulate the ground motion of earthquakes up to a magnitude of almost 8. Set up as a kind of container room, it is furnished with tables and other movable objects and can accommodate up to 10 people at one time.

Earthquake simulation is not only intended to raise public awareness of Switzerland's vulnerability to seismic activity, but also to show people how to react in the event that they experience an earthquake.

The development and construction of the simulator was commissioned in 2006 by the Federal Office for the Environment (BAFU), supported by the public building insurance company of the canton of Freiburg and the Swiss Foundation for Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering.

Note: The earthquake simulator is only accessible as part of a one-hour guided tour given on Sundays at 11:00, 13:00, and 15:00. Group tours can also be booked during the week.

See the focusTerra museum website for further details.

The CPPS Centre in Sitten

Acknowledging a need to raise public and young people's awareness of the dangers posed by earthquakes in the Valais region and to prepare them to deal with any related hazards, the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Western Switzerland (HES-SO Valais-Wallis) teamed up with the canton's Education and Safety Department and the Swiss Seismological Service (SED) to develop an innovative prevention concept, entailing the realistic simulation of earthquakes and their impact. The Pedagogical Centre for Earthquake Prevention (CPPS) in Sitten was officially inaugurated on 18 March 2016. It comprises a platform measuring 5 by 6 m capable of simulating earthquakes with a magnitude of up to 7 on the Richter scale. It can accommodate a total of 30 people and also be used to test the capabilities of certain machines and equipment to withstand earthquakes.

To find out more, visit the CPPS website.