'It sounded like a train coming': UK rocked by biggest earthquake in recent years

01/19/2013 07:28

The tremor – one of the strongest to hit the UK in recent years – shook­ ­Leicestershire, ­Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire
A powerful early-morning ­earthquake gave thousands of people a rude ­awakening today.

East Midlands earthquakeThe tremor – one of the strongest to hit the UK in recent years – shook­ ­Leicestershire, ­Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

Experts from the British Geological Survey said the 2.9 magnitude earthquake rattled homes and caused a loud bang at 5.20am.

Jen Wood, who lives in the epicentre in Loughborough, Leicestershire, said she had a fright when the racket woke her up.

She said: “I was shocked and didn’t know what was going on.

“There was a loud rumble and the whole house shook. I thought I was imagining it.

“I went on to Facebook to check and other people confirmed there was an earthquake.”

Mike Flood, 45, also of Loughborough, said: “I was awake, actually, I get up quite early.

"It was almost like a plane going over or an ­explosion in the distance.

“The house creaked – there was no house moving or pictures falling off the wall, but the house just creaked.

"It was strange – you know something’s happened and you know it’s not a normal thing.”

He said the commotion woke up his children and added: “They were asking what it was.

“I said, ‘Oh, it could have been a plane or it might have been an earth tremor’, just to allay their fears.”

East Midlands earthquake East Midlands earthquake
British Geological Society

A resident in nearby Groby said: “It lasted at least 20 seconds and some DVDs fell off a shelf in my room.”

And another local added: “It sounded like an underground train coming and everything was wobbling.”

Julian Bukits, from the British Geological Survey, said the earthquake was not strong enough to damage properties.

He added: “Earthquakes generally have to be of 4.5 to 5 magnitude to cause damage.”

Leicestershire, Derbyshire and ­Nottinghamshire police all confirmed they did not need to attend any quake-related incidents.

The fire services also took no calls.

Britain is shaken by hundreds of earthquakes every year, but most are too small to detect.

We get a magnitude 5.5 – capable of badly damaging buildings – once a century.

But British Geological Survey experts say a killer is long overdue, and predict a fracture in the Earth’s crust under the English Channel could slip.

Britain’s largest quake was in 1931 in Hull. It was a ­magnitude 6.1 and killed one person. Mirror


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