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London is overdue massive earthquake, warns scientist

Britain is overdue a potentially devastating earthquake that could topple London's grandest landmarks, cause billions of pounds worth of damage and endanger lives, a seismologist warned yesterday.

Dr Roger Musson of the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh said that a sub-sea fault under the Straits of Dover that has caused two large earthquakes in the past 700 years could strike again at any time, putting London at risk.

The geological fault has already generated relatively large earthquakes in 1382 and 1580 and there is a substantial risk that a similar-sized earthquake could occur again, he said.

“Whether it happens tomorrow, or in two years' time or in 20 years or 50 years, that is something we would love to know but we don't,” Dr Musson told the British Science Festival in Birmingham.

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