Minute-long earthquake rocks Cumbria, sending residents running into the street
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Last updated at 1:26 PM on 22nd December 2010
Last updated at 1:26 PM on 22nd December 2010
An earthquake measuring 3.5 on the Richter scale rocked the Lake District for 30 seconds last night.
The tremor happened just before 11pm, according to the US Geological Survey, which monitors earth movements.
The tremor lasted up to a minute, according to people in the area, and was felt in places across the county and as far away as Lancashire, south-west Scotland, Northumberland and the Isle of Man. No damage or injuries have yet been reported.
Hotelier Alan Robertson, who was in his 30-bed hotel in Eskdale, near Whitehaven, described how the property shook.
'I was watching TV and there was this sort of really loud rumble. Then the entire building shook,' he said. 'I ran out of the front door, only to be confronted by my guests running out of their part of the house. We couldn't believe it.'
Scene: U.S geologists pin-pointed Coniston in Cumbria as the epicentre of the earthquake late on Tuesday night
The 36 year old, who had six guests at the Bower House Inn including a pregnant women, added: 'It was sizeable enough to shake an old and well-established building.
'If I lived in a city, I would have assumed it was an explosion. I am still in shock. I can barely get my thoughts together.'
A spokesman for Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service said: 'We have had confirmed reports from officers around the county. It happened around half an hour ago. We felt it here in Cockermouth.
'We have had no requests from members of the public. At the moment, we don't believe there is any structural damage.'
A resident in Kendal told Sky News: 'My house started to shake...we went to our patio windows and the neighbours, they were out. The first storey physically shook. My girlfriend said a similar thing happened early last year. I looked it up on Google and sure enough, it has happened before.
'Last year when it happened we had bits of plaster come loose but nothing fell down this year. I do vaguely recall the one last year but this one I particularly felt it. It was a little bit exciting...something happening.
'It wasn't sort of life-threatening or anything like that, it was just a bit of a shock really.'
Susan Potter, geophysicist at the US Geological Society, said that in the last 40 years, six earthquakes had been recorded within 50km of the latest quake.
Of those two have been of a magnitude of 3.7 - in 1988 and 2009.
'This general region has had earthquakes of the same magnitude in the past,' Ms Potter said.
HOW THE EARTH MOVES FOR BRITONS
Data from the British Geological Survey showed the location of the quake as Coniston, Cumbria. The area appears prone to earthquakes at this time of year.
Nearby Dumfries in Scotland suffered a tremor measuring 3.5 on Boxing Day in 2006. Hundreds of people in the Dumfries area reported their houses shaking violently at around 10.45am. Seismologists said the tremor, which lasted around 10 seconds, was the largest in the UK that year.
Kent also saw a quake measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale in April 2007. Homes were damaged as chimneys toppled, walls cracked and masonry fell as the tremor hit Folkestone.
Describing last night's quake to Sky News, a Kendal resident said: 'We were just sitting there quietly watching the TV and suddenly there was a thumping noise.
'It sounded like the next door neighbours running upstairs, that kind of distant thumping. It just got louder and louder. The house started to physically shake. A few things that were in the room above us in the spare room fell off the tops of wardrobes.'
Karen Dickinson, of North Lancashire, told Sky News: 'It was just a real rumbling, which sounded like thunder.
'The furniture started shaking in the house. The children were upstairs playing on the Wii and came running down. They were quite scared.
'We didn't realise what it was. We thought perhaps it was some kind of explosion. Then we assumed it was an earth tremor. This one definitely felt stronger than the one in previous years. It wasn't that bad but it was quite scary at the time. The room actually moved.'
A spokeswoman for Dumfries and Galloway Fire and Rescue Service said tonight people in their control room in Dumfries had felt a 'small tremor' and there was a 'bit of noise' at the time of when the tremor was reported.
Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary said they had reports of people feeling a tremor in Dalbeattie.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1340680/Cumbria-hit-30-second-earthquake-measuring-3-5-Richter-scale.html#ixzz18qzyXSnZ