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Monday, 23 September, 2002, 08:26 GMT 09:26 UK
'Everything shook and I freaked out'
British Geological Survey chart
The UK has a powerful quake about once a decade
Thousands of people were woken by the UK's biggest earthquake for 10 years.

Many who were frightened rang their emergency services, some fearful they had an intruder in their home or that there had been a gas explosion.

John Starkey, 26, was awoken in Sheffield by the clatter of pots and pans.


I thought it was my husband twitching in his sleep

Denise Baylis
He said: "I heard the pots in the kitchen shaking and the shampoo in the bathroom fell off the cupboard.

"I wondered what the hell was going on. I got out of bed and went downstairs and the security lights in the garden had come on.

"I was puzzled and had no idea it was an earthquake until I heard it on the news this morning."

Dozens, such as Becky from Leamington, e-mailed BBC News Online to share their experience.

'It was fun'

Becky, who was awake at the time, said: "I didn't think it was an earthquake at first, I thought it was my cat jumping onto my bed - she usually makes the bed shake.

"But, then I turned to see where she was and she wasn't there.

"By this time, everything was shaking and I was really freaked out."


After watching Armageddon the same night, you can imagine the thoughts in my head when the entire house shook violently

Michael
Manchester
And Hannah, from Oxford, told BBC News Online: "I woke suddenly when my bed starting to shake, along with the walls and windows."

Denise Baylis said: "I thought it was my husband twitching in his sleep.

"This morning, before I heard the news, I mentioned it to my daughter and she said I must have been dreaming. Then I put the radio on. "

Dan in Birmingham said: "That was so much fun. I understand earthquakes can be and have been very dangerous and upsetting to many, but that was excellent."

Michael, from Manchester, said: "After watching Armageddon the same night, you can imagine the thoughts in my head when the entire house shook violently whilst I was in bed."

Raymond Higgs, from Dudley in the West Midlands, told BBC Radio WM: "Suddenly I was woken up with this jolt - I guessed it was an earthquake.

"I have experienced an earthquake before but it was a long time ago, in West Bromwich."

He added: "I was not scared and I just wondered if anything had fallen off the house, which hadn't. Everything was okay."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Nick Garnett in Leeds
"Walls shook and pictures rattled"
Edwina Currie was broadcasting on BBC 5Live
from Birmingham when the tremor hit
Insp Bob Wilson of Merseyside Police
"We have had around 30 calls from the Merseyside area regarding the tremor"
Alex Potter from Birmingham felt the tremor
"The windows shook, my chair shook, the floor shook"
See also:

23 Sep 02 | UK
23 Sep 02 | Science/Nature
23 Sep 02 | Talking Point
23 Sep 00 | UK
Internet links:


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