Pedagogical Center for Earthquake Prevention



« An approach to earthquake information, training and preparartion that is unique in Europe »





COVID-19 information


CPPS is now closed until the end of April 2021

subject to cantonal decisions related to the visit of the CPPS by schools


We will inform you about the resumption of our activities as soon as the public health situation allows

We thank you for your understanding and we are grateful for this valuable collaboration

We look forward to welcoming you back to our training center



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Click on the titles (highlighted) below to discover information related to the various activities/demonstrations planned in the canton of Valais to mark the 75th anniversary of the 1946 earthquakes


The 1946 earthquakes

Remembering the past in order to prepare for the next earthquake in Valais


Séismes de 1946 couverture UNIL

On 25 January 1946, the Valais was hit by a major earthquake estimated to have a magnitude of 5.8, followed by aftershocks throughout the spring, the strongest of which occurred on 30 May, Ascension Day.Who remembers it 75 years later? Launched at the initiative of the “Centre Interdisciplinaire de Recherche sur la Montagne” (CIRM) of the University of Lausanne, with the participation of several research centres, cantonal services and scientific associations, a series of events will be held in 2021 to remember the events of 1946, to take stock of our current scientific knowledge about earthquake risk in Switzerland and the level of preparedness, and to keep alive peoples memory of the risk 



The educational trail




This game will allow you to discover, through a trail in the old town of Sion, what an earthquake is, how and why it occurs, how to estimate its damage, how to estimate its magnitude, how to act to limit the damage that an earthquake can cause and what actions can be taken to reduce earthquake damage 



Make your own seismometer


Haute Ecole d'Ingénierie, Route du Rawyl 47, 1950 Sion


To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the 1946 Valais earthquake, come and take part in an afternoon workshop to build your own seismometer. It can be installed at home and will allow you and your family to follow and record in real time the movements of the earth from your home


As of March 15, 2021, there are no more spaces available for these workshops

everything is COMPLETE!



What is the CPPS?

The CPPS is an acronym for the French phrase “centre pédagogique pour la prévention en cas de séismes” – Pedagogical Center for Earthquake Prevention

It is a comprehensive educational approach to teach how earthquakes happen, to learn how to protect yourself and to give the whole population basic rescue skills.

In order to effectively train and prepare young people and the general population for the possibility of an earthquake, the HES-SO Valais-Wallis High School of Engineering has developed an innovative preparation idea that allows users to feel and experience the various parameters characteristic of an earthquake.

The centre-piece of this exhibition is the 5x6 meter simulator that can reproduce earthquakes of up to magnitude 7 on the Richter scale.



Some useful information

● Why is the earth shaking?

● Booking for a visit to the CPPS

● Catering



What does logic tell us?

Switzerland has not suffered any major earthquakes in recent decades, which explains why the population does not have a collective memory of such events and is often unaware of the danger. No other natural event can cause such a large catastrophe in a matter of minutes and have such a serious impact on the population and its livelihood. Just because they are rare does not mean that the risk is not there. The more years pass, the higher the probability of an earthquake occurring.

Every year in Switzerland, nearly 1,200 earthquakes are recorded. Most are tiny. Although all parts of our country can be affected, the canton of Valais is the region most at risk of being shaken by a large earthquake. On January 25, 1946, a magnitude 5.8 earthquake shook the Sierre region. It killed four people and damaged some 3,500 buildings.

If such a disaster were to occur today, with the rapid expansion of the housing stock and the increase in population, the number of victims would be extremely high. Historically, it has been shown that a major earthquake will probably hit a region of the Valais causing significant damage within a radius of around 15 kilometres of its epicentre within the next 25 years. Moreover, buildings dating from the 1970s, a boom period in this region, are not very resistant to the stresses created by an earthquake.

Today, earthquakes are fairly well understood, but it is still impossible to predict where, when and with what intensity an earthquake will strike. Current scientific knowledge does not make it possible to give an alert early enough before the arrival of the destructive waves of the earthquake, particularly with a view to evacuating people from their homes.

« What does logic tell us? We cannot predict an earthquake, so we must prepare for it in order to minimise its effects on the population of our country »

We will never be able to prevent earthquakes. This does not mean, however, that we are totally powerless in the face of an event of such magnitude: we can limit the damage through information, training, preparation and precautionary measures.

Preparing before

Prepare BEFORE637461416707857456


Prepare BEFORE: Module 1

« Comprehension »




To understand in a playful way, through hands-on experiences, films and explanatory posters, the phenomenon of earthquakes and their consequences that can occur in our canton, consequences that affect our lives and our buildings



The aim of this module is to understand "earthquakes" in order to prepare your home and environment



Photos AVANT


Protect yourself during

protect themselves AFTER


 Protect Yourself DURING: Module 2

« Simulation »




Learn to feel and compare different types of earthquakes (earthquake on rock versus earthquake on sediment) or of different intensities. Thanks to this module, visitors will realise the impact that an earthquake will have on their immediate environment (bedroom, kitchen, classroom, etc.)


The aim of this module is to gain good protective reactions during an earthquake






Good reactions afterwards

React well AFTER


Acting AFTER: Module 3

 « First Aid »



To teach the general public the steps that can be taken to save lives, teach first aid skills andthe precautions to take to keep themselves and others safe



The aim of this module is to learn the right actions that will ensure the survival of as many people as possible. The teaching of these skills is carried out by instructors from the Samaritains





Europe's largest educational earthquake simulator

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The CPPS earthquake simulator is capable of reproducing earthquakes up to 7 on the Richter scale

It was designed by engineers from the mechanical, automation and IT branches of the “Haute Ecole d'Ingénierie” (HEI) of the HES-SO Valais Wallis de Sion

It operates with 4 computer-controlled hydraulic cylinders with a pulling force of 2.7 tonnes (each)

The simulator moves back and forth and from left to right de 30 cm up to 30 cm but does not move up and down

During the simulations, the visitor is subjected to a horizontal acceleration of 1 g (from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.7 seconds)

The floor of the simulator rests on 6 feet mounted on air cushions

The simulator table measures 6 m by 5 m and weighs up to 3 tonnes when fully occupied (25 people)


● Presentation of the CPPS simulator




Earthquakes in Switzerland


Seismic monitor 


Switzerland is a country where earthquakes represent a significant natural danger.

According to specialists, Valais is the Swiss region where the seismic risk is highest.

Statistically, an earthquake with a magnitude of about 6 occurs on average every 50 to 100 years in Valais. 


The last major earthquake, the strongest of the last 70 years in Switzerland, occurred in 1946.
The map on the right shows the most recent earthquakes in Switzerland. It is updated every minute


Smartphone apps available to download





App Store

App Store

Google play

Google play


Portal of the Swiss Confederation on natural hazards


confédération Suisse logo


All announcements related to a natural hazard for a current event in our country are automatically published on the portal of the Swiss Confederation.

 or via the following applications



Application MeteoSwiss

App Store

Google play

meteoswiss logo

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App Store

Google play

twitter rejoindre637471876509844998


To find out what behaviour to adopt in the event of a natural hazard, simply click directly on your choice to be redirected.

Heat waves

Slippery roads



General recommendations for action



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