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Saturday, March 7, 1998 Published at 18:54 GMT


Earthquake on Scottish west coast

An earthquake has shaken residents on the west coast of Scotland but no damage or injuries have been reported.

The British Geological Survey (BGS) said the tremor in Argyll measured 2.7 on the Richter Scale and its epicentre was about eight miles east of Oban.

Glenn Ford, a seismologist at the BGS in Edinburgh, described the earthquake as "significant".

"There are hundreds of earthquakes in the UK every year, but few are felt by the public - so this was significant in those terms" he said.

Strathclyde Police said officers had noticed a shudder shortly after 0200GMT but there had been no reports of injuries or damage to property.

Residents shaken awake

Angus MacIntosh, 65, of Croft Avenue in Oban, said the quake had felt "like a huge car being revved up" outside his home.

He said: "There was the noise and then the bed shook gently.

"I knew what it was because we have had them here before, years ago."

The BGS said the Oban area had been hit by tremors measuring 4.1 on the Richter Scale in September 1986.

Quakes are caused by localised rifts underground, where rocks fracture and push against each other.

Weather chaos

Meanwhile, blizzard conditions have brought chaos to much of northern Scotland.

More than 19,000 homes are without electricity after snow brought down supply lines.

All train services north and west of Inverness are suspended and many roads are impassable with some snow drifts several metres deep.


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