Earthquake near Loughborough shakes East Midlands

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An earthquake has been felt by people in several parts of the East Midlands.

The British Geological Survey (BGS) confirmed a 2.9 magnitude earthquake near Loughborough in Leicestershire at 05:20 GMT.

It was felt in Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire and one man described it as "like an explosion in the distance".

The BGS said it was an average tremor for the UK and one million times weaker than the 2011 Japanese earthquake.

Leicestershire Police and the fire service both said there were no reports of damage in the county.

'The house creaked'

Reports of the tremor came from several locations in Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire.

What is an earthquake?

Chart showing seismic activity
  • An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates energy in the form of seismic waves
  • On the surface, earthquakes are manifested by shaking and sometimes ground movement
  • Earthquakes can trigger landslides, volcanic activity and, if located offshore, tsunamis
  • They are measured using seismometers. The moment magnitude is the most common scale
  • Thousands of earthquakes happen across the Earth each day - but most escape detection

Source: BBC Science

Mike Flood, 45, who lives in Loughborough, said he was awake when the tremor struck.

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

"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."

Joy Russell did not feel the tremor in Cosby, south of Leicester, but her dogs were terrified by the experience.

She said: "I was woken by my dogs who were howling like banshees. I raced downstairs thinking golly, something's happened.

"They were all really stressed and hopping about. They just couldn't wait to get out of the house. They were absolutely panic stricken."

Another caller, from Leicester, said: "It sounded like an underground train coming and everything wobbled."

Seismologist Dr Brian Baptie, from the BGS, said: "The East Midlands does have history of small to moderate earthquakes.

"The shaking would last for a few seconds - it can be a pretty scary experience."

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The tremor follows just days after a similar event in Ollerton, Nottinghamshire on 12 and 14 January.

Those earthquakes were recorded by the BGS as 1.4 and 1.8 magnitude.

Julian Bukits, of BGS, said: "Earthquakes generally have to be of 4.5 to 5 magnitude to cause damage."

Both the BGS and the US Geological Survey reported the Loughborough tremor, which was about 13km (8 miles) below ground.

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