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Monday, 23 September, 2002, 11:33 GMT 12:33 UK
Witnesses recall moment earthquake shakes UK
A seismograph
An earthquake measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale wakes thousands of people across England and Wales in the early hours of Monday. BBC News Interactive recalls the moment the tremor strikes through witnesses' personal recollections.



Early wake-up call
A smashed chimney
Only minor damage has been reported

The tremor - which lasts for around 30 seconds - begins at approximately 0054 BST and its epicentre is around Wolverhampton and Dudley in the West Midlands. But people far afield as London and North Yorkshire feel the effects of the quake.






Worried residents dial '999'
Police officers standing in front of a police car
Many worried residents call the police

Emergency services' switchboards across England and Wales are swamped with calls. West Midlands Police receive 5,000 calls within an hour of the tremor happening and 600 calls to the 999 number. Many callers believe an intruder has broken into their homes.



No surprise for quake experts
A scientists examines a seismograph of the earthquake
UK tremors are not uncommon say scientists

Between 150 and 200 quakes occur in Britain each year, but only 10% are strong enough to be felt. Although the earthquake was large by British experiences, tremors in places like California, Japan and India can reach seven on the Richter scale.


See also:

23 Sep 02 | UK
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