Heavy rain has caused a series of earth tremors at the foot of the German Alps, Bavarian Environment Minister Werner Schnappauf said on Wednesday. "Scientists had long suspected a connection between heavy rainfall and clusters of small quakes in this part of the Alps," he said in a statement. "The proof is a small sensation among experts." More than 30 tremors have been recorded beneath the Hochstaufen mountain in Bavaria since Friday, most of which will not have been noticed by residents, according to the ministry. The strongest had a magnitude of 2.7 on the Richter scale. The tremors were probably caused by the rain dissolving salty stone inside the mountain, a ministry official said.