Page last updated at 13:45 GMT, Tuesday, 28 April 2009 14:45 UK

Tremor strikes north-west England

Villagers describe the earth tremor

An earth tremor has struck the north west of England.

The British Geological Survey confirmed there had been an earthquake of 3.7 magnitude at 1120 BST on Tuesday.

It centred on Ulverston in Cumbria and was felt at Barrow, Kendal, Windermere, and as far south as Blackpool and Lytham St Annes in Lancashire.

There are no initial reports of damage. But Frank McCall, of Grange-over-Sands, said: "I felt the house shake. At first I thought a lorry had hit."

'Massive shudder'

He added: "I went outside and noticed neighbours were also on their doorsteps looking a bit bewildered.

"There hasn't been any damage that I can see but it was quite frightening."

Michael Harris, a retired police officer from Slyne in North Lancaster, said he was sitting at home with his son and wife when they felt a "massive shudder".

We've had people talking about plant pots being shaken and things dropping off shelves

John Davies
South Lakeland District Council

He said: "Once it stopped I went outside as I wondered if there had been a crash or a gas explosion but when I couldn't see anything I knew it must be a tremor or something like that.

"I've never experienced anything that unnerving."

Hugh Rushton, owner of the Grange Hotel in Grange-over-Sands, said the tremor felt like a "large thump".

He said: "I actually thought someone large had fallen over in the room above. It was that kind of sound.

"I'm going to check there are no cracks in the building but there doesn't appear to have been any damage caused."

Police and the fire service said there had been no initial reports of damage or injuries.

'Relatively small'

Cumbria quake map

John Davies, emergency planning officer for South Lakeland District Council, said: "We've had people talking about plant pots being shaken and things dropping off shelves but as far as we are aware there is no further damage."

A spokesman for the British Geological Survey said: "We picked it up on instrumentation.

"With a magnitude of 3.7 it is relatively small.

"We get one of this size roughly once every year in the UK and they rarely cause any damage."

In February 2008 the UK was shaken by the biggest earthquake for nearly 25 years.

It had a magnitude of 5.2 and was centred near Market Rasen in Lincolnshire.

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