England

Earthquake hits North Yorkshire

  • 4 January 2011
  • From the section England
Ripon earthquake locator map

A small earthquake has hit northern England, scientists have confirmed.

The British Geological Survey (BGS) said the 3.6-magnitude quake struck 9km (5.5 miles) north-west of Ripon, North Yorkshire at about 2100 GMT on Monday.

People in Bingley and Skipton, north-west of Leeds, reported feeling tremors, which were experienced across Cumbria and West Yorkshire.

The BGS said a such an earthquake might be felt up to 100km (62 miles) away but was unlikely to cause much damage.

'House shook'

It said many people throughout the region had reported feeling the event.

BGS spokeswoman Dr Aoife O'Mongain said: "It would have only lasted for a couple of seconds. And at that strength it is not likely that it would have caused any damage.

"People living in the vicinity may have felt their windows rattling as if a lorry was going past."

David Jones, who lives just outside Skipton, was one of those who felt the quake.

He told BBC News: "I was downstairs and a heavy cast iron wood stove we've got rattled quite loudly for about five seconds. My wife upstairs said wardrobe doors were also rattling.

"I've spoken to friends who've reported front doors rattling and things like that.

"I have felt a couple of earthquakes in other parts of the world from time to time so I was fairly certain what it was as soon as I felt it."

Damian Boddy contacted the BBC to say he felt the earthquake in Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire.

He said: "The house shook as if a door slammed, thought it was burglars until we checked online news."

'Made me jump'

Emma-Jane Whelan, from Nunburnholme in the East Riding of Yorkshire, said: "I thought I had imagined it but I felt the tremor this evening. It made me jump.

"I turned off the TV and looked all round the house for what had caused the big 'crump' sound."

Insp Chris Wright of Cumbria Police said the force received two calls from the Kendal area reporting tremors.

He said: "There have been no reports of injury or damage so we notified the British Geological Survey for them to investigate."

The BGS said the last earthquake of any similar size in the area was a magnitude 2.8 event in 1970 in the Pennines.

Previous tremor

Geophysicist Paul Caruso of the United States Geological Survey said the quake was felt as far west as Blackpool and as far north as Sunderland.

He said: "Normally from an earthquake this size we'd expect things like some cracked sidewalks, people would see their chandeliers swinging back and forth, maybe some waves in their drink glasses.

"But we generally don't expect to see damage or deaths from earthquakes until they get up to about magnitude 5.5."

The tremors come after a 3.6-magnitude earthquake hit Cumbria on 21 December, and was felt in Lancashire, south-west Scotland, parts of Yorkshire, Northumberland and the Isle of Man.

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