Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Small quake shakes North West homes

An earthquake has shaken homes in north-west England, Lancashire Police said

An earthquake has shaken homes in north-west England, according to police.

A small tremor was felt in the Blackpool area at about 3.30am, a spokesman for Lancashire Police said.

He said the force had received "numerous" calls about properties shaking, but no damage had been reported.

The British Geological Survey recorded the Blackpool earthquake with a magnitude of 2.2. The epicentre of the earthquake was 2.5 miles north east of Blackpool.

BGS seismologist Brian Baptie said: "It is a very minor earthquake, it was very weak. It would only just be perceptible and nothing for people to be concerned about. There are about 20 earthquakes of that size in the UK every year."

Officers were sent to check out reports of cracks on the road over a bridge in Lytham Road but it is understood they have been in place for up to two years. A spokeswoman for Blackpool Council said structural engineers would assess if there was any fresh damage to the road but it remained open to traffic.

It follows an earthquake measuring 3.5 which struck in Coniston, Cumbria, on December 21 last year in which no injuries or damages were reported.

Other recent quakes in the UK include one in February 2008, when a major tremor centred on Lincolnshire shook much of the country, caused damage to buildings and left one man injured. The tremor - which had a magnitude of 5.2 - struck at around 1am on February 27 at Market Rasen.

And in Kent in April 2007, another tremor was recorded with a magnitude of 4.3. Homes were damaged as chimneys toppled, walls cracked and masonry fell when the tremor hit Folkestone.

An earthquake measuring 2.4 was recorded near Inverness on Tuesday with several villagers in Abriachan reporting they heard "a rumble".

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