Nice is, like all the French Alps, in an active sismic area. The risk in the city is rated 3 on a scale of four. Noone can foresee earthquakes, neither their dates, nor their magnitude.

It is measured with the Richter scale. One point more means an amplitude 10 times higher. In Nice, the last earthquake which caused a lot of damages occured 150 years ago with a magnitude of 6.5 causing damages rated VII-VIII in the MSK scale (which measures the damages, not the magnitude). This 1887 earthquake  who was centered in Italy had caused a tidal wave more than 2m high. That's 500 times below what happened in japan in 2011. It killed more than 600 people nonetheless.

In the past, the region had suffered from earthquakes causing more important damages (IX-X on the MSK scale), such as the earthquake which emptied Roccasparviera.

The problem in Nice is that many, not to say most of the buildings are not earthquakeproof, unlike Japanese buildings for exemple.

Most of the earthquakes here are completely unnoticed by the population. Once in a while a magnitude 4 seism shakes the ground, making the headlines in the local newspapers, but no damage.

Don't worry about earthquakes if you come in our region. The big one may happen any time, but it is likely to be much smoother than the Californian one.

To know the activity of the last 15 days in France.

What to do during an earthquake…

In a building

  • Stay far from the windows which may explode.
  • Find a shelter under a furniture or at the corner between 2 structural walls

In the street

  • Stay away from buidings

In a car

  • Pull over and do not get off before the earthquake is over

What to do after the first tremors…

In a building

  • Listen to the radio (France Inter 100.2 FM)
  • Shut down water, gaz and electricity
  • Keep with you essential items : medicines, papers, bottles of water, warm clothes...
  • Exit the building using the stairs, being cautious because objects might fall. NEVER use the lifts!
  • In case you're buried, make noise hitting walls and pipes.

In a car

  • Move away from buidings and head towards an isolated place.

What not to do during an earthquake…

In a building

  • Run during the tremor
  • Smoke (risk of gas leak and explosion)

In the street

  • Stay under power lines or what might collapse : bridges, roofs, balconies...
  • Touch the power lines on the ground.

What not to do after the first tremors…

Ina building

  • Use a lift
  • Phone (let the network available for the rescue teams, gas leak...)

In the street

  • Enter a damaged building to find people or fetch things.


There is a number you can call in any case anywhere in Europe (and at least in France) if you are in an emergency, whether be it a fire, a police emergency or a medical one. This number is 112.

According to your situation, the operator will forward your call to the right person.

You may be in touch with someone who doesn't speak english. But they will find someone who does when possible, especially if you use the 112.


Phone in case of emergencies : 17 or 112 from a cell phone

To file a complaint 24H a day, every day:

  Commissariat Central
1 avenue Foch
Tel 04 92 17 22 22


Call 18 or 112 from a cell phone.


Medical emergencies

Phone :
Firemen 18 (they have ambulances and can take you fast to the hospital, if need be).
SAMU 15 (these are ambulances with doctors, coming from the hospital)
or 112..

Emergencies service of the University hospital open 24H a day, every day:

(expect to wait a long time if your situation is not really serious.) BEWARE : this service was moved in July 2015 from the St Roch hospital to the Pasteur hospital. That's much farther from the city center.

To go there: streetcar's line 1 final stop "Pasteur" or buses

  Hôpital PASTEUR 2
30 Voie Romaine
tel : 04 92 03 77 77


Other useful numbers:

In case of poisonning : 04 91 75 25 25

SOS médecins : 0810 850 101 (a doctor 24H a day)

The doctor on duty (24H a day) : 04 93 53 03 03

Pharmacy open 24H a day
7 rue Massena
tel 04 93 62 54 44 or 3237

Lenval hospital for children
57 av de la Californie
tel 04 92 03 03 03

SOS teeth 04 93 80 77 77 and at night or on public holidays 04 97 25 72 75

SOS veterinarian (at night or on public holidays) : 04 93 83 46 64

Lost animals (toll free number) : 0800 03 70 16

Nice is located in a sismically active area. What to do during an earthquake.