The Worthing Wobble: Teacups rattle on the south coast after earthquake strikes in the English Channel
Last updated at 2:15 PM on 14th July 2011
Some witnesses appeared to doubt whether the small tremor was anything more than a heavy lorry rumbling by on the south coast.
Others based in Worthing, West Sussex, questioned whether the 3.9 magnitude quake was simply a trick of their imagination.
The pier in Worthing, West Sussex. People living in the seaside town were unsure whether the quake was a trick of the imagination when it struck this morning
But according to the British Geological Survey (BGS), it is the biggest to strike a 16 mile region in 300 years.
People living in parts of West Sussex said buildings shook for a few seconds at around 8am.
On Twitter, one social networker wrote: 'I think there was just an earthquake in Worthing. I haven't had any coffee yet, so it could just be my brain making things up (again)!'
And another user of the microblogging site added: 'shook my bed and rattled my cupboard doors! Others felt it, not (too) mad...'.
One worker said it felt like a 'big lorry had gone by in a hurry'.
Brian Baker, data manager at the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, felt the earthquake in his office on the coast in Shoreham, near Brighton.
He said: 'The office wobbled slightly, the building shook, monitors on the table rattled and the roof creaked a bit. It lasted about two to three seconds.
Portsmouth Harbour, in Hampshire, is around 85km from the epicentre of the 3.9 magnitude quake - it is the biggest to strike a 25km region in 300 years
'There was no damage as far as we can see.
UK'S BIGGEST QUAKE
'It felt as if a big lorry had gone by in a hurry, except we don't have lorries go through here.'
The quake's epicentre was around 53 miles (85km) south-east of Portsmouth, Hampshire, at a depth of 10km,the BGS said.
'This is the largest earthquake within 25 km (16 miles) since a magnitude 4.5 event in 1734,' David Kerridge, from the BGS, added.
'Historically, there have been two other significant events nearby (30km to 40km distant) - a magnitude 5.0 earthquake in 1878 and a magnitude 4.3 earthquake in 1750.
'In the UK, we experience a earthquake of this magnitude approximately every two years.'
So far no injuries or damage has been reported following the quake which struck at 7.59am, according to BGS experts.
Hampshire Police, Sussex Police, Solent Coastguard, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said they had not been called to incidents related to it.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2014676/English-Channel-struck-biggest-quake-300-years.html#ixzz1S8AZPvmQ