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Friday, 1 June, 2001, 13:58 GMT 14:58 UK
Earthquake shakes south west England
Seismologist Bennett Simpson, from the British Geological Survey, Edinburgh, examines a chart of the area west of Bude, Cornwall
Seismologist Bennett Simpson measured the tremor
Earthquake experts are investigating a tremor measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale which was felt across Devon and Cornwall.

The tremor happened at around 0045BST on Friday, and lasted for several seconds.

Devon and Cornwall Police said they received more than 40 telephone calls from alarmed members of the public reporting tremors.

A spokesman said there were no reports of any injuries but there had been "three incidences of minor structural damage."

Dave Turner, of Gunnislake, Cornwall
Dave Turner's home suffered structural damage
Jason Willoughby had just gone to bed at Pensilva near Liskeard, Cornwall, when the quake struck.

"We thought it was a lorry going down the road at first but then the house started to shake and it passed over the top of us," he said.

"We went outside to see what it was. We thought it was an aircraft or something of that nature, but there was nothing."

Mr Willoughby's partner Tanya Horrocks, who is seven and a half months pregnant, said the incident had been worrying.

'Quite significant'

"In quite a short space of time it got really loud and felt as if it went through the house but with it came a tremor," she said.

"It was scary, I was scared because it was so intense and not something we have experience before."

Another resident who suffered structural damage was Dave Turner, of Gunnislake in Cornwall.

He discovered that a four-foot-long crack had appeared in the upper storey of his home after the tremor.

The British Geological Survey estimates that the epicentre was in the Bristol Channel area, about 35km west of Hartland Point in north Devon.
Quakes in the UK
150-200 occur each year, but only 10% are felt.
The strongest known onshore tremor (5.4) struck Lleyn, north Wales, in 1984.
The UK's west coast is more prone to earthquakes than NE Scotland and SE England.
Eleven people are known to have died in UK earthquakes since 1580.
The British Geological Survey has 140 seismic monitoring stations across the UK.

It described the quake as being "quite significant" for the UK, which has about 300 earthquakes a year.

It is the strongest tremor since last September, when an earthquake in Warwick measured 4.2 and was felt across central England.

An earthquake measuring 2.9 on the Richter scale shook Dumfries in Scotland on 13 May this year.

Six thousand earthquakes measuring more than 4.0 on the Richter scale occur in the world every year.

The largest earthquake in Britain was in 1931, off the Dogger Bank in the North Sea, which measured 6.1 on the Richter scale.


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23 Sep 00 | UK
Tremor rocks the Midlands
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