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Earthquake 'felt like steamroller'

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Shifting seabed 37 miles from Belmullet in Co Mayo has produced a significant earthquake

Shifting seabed 37 miles from Belmullet in Co Mayo has produced a significant earthquake

Shifting seabed 37 miles from Belmullet in Co Mayo has produced a significant earthquake

An offshore earthquake which rattled windows in an Irish town felt like a steamroller, one international expert has said.

The magnitude four tremor off the west coast of Ireland happened on Wednesday morning and was the strongest in Britain or Ireland for around two years, said a scientist at the British Geological Survey.

Shifting seabed 37 miles from Belmullet in Co Mayo was not enough to produce high waves never mind a tsunami - but the geoscience centre warned it was significant for the region.

Seismologist David Galloway said it would have been felt in counties Mayo, Galway and Sligo in the far west of the Republic.

"We have been getting reports of the windows rattling, that the shaking felt like a lorry or some vehicle smashing into the back of the house, which is typical of the felt reports of earthquakes," he said.

"One report described it as like a steamroller going down the road."

Mr Galloway said he had not head of any damage to property and was not expecting any.

"It is quite a small earthquake, it is only significant for the fact that the UK or Ireland does not get the big earthquakes of Italy or Turkey," he continued.

The quake, which happened just before 9am, was the strongest in the area since 1984 when an intermediate tremor of 5.4 was recorded in the Irish Sea.

Micro tremors were felt in parts of north County Donegal in January and March near Buncrana in Ireland's far north-west.

PA