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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 February 2008, 15:49 GMT
Earthquake felt across much of UK
Kleber Afonso surveys the damage to his home in South Yorkshire
The earthquake caused damage to many homes
The biggest earthquake in the UK for nearly 25 years has shaken homes across large parts of the country.

People in Newcastle, Yorkshire, London, Cumbria, the Midlands, Norfolk and also parts of Wales, felt the tremor just before 0100 GMT.

A man suffered a broken pelvis when a chimney collapsed in South Yorkshire.

The British Geological Survey (BGS) said the epicentre of the 5.2 magnitude quake was near Market Rasen in Lincolnshire.

Davie Galloway, seismologist for the BGS, said people had reported feeling the tremor from as far as Bangor in Northern Ireland to the west, Haarlem in Holland to the east, Plymouth to the south and Edinburgh to the north.

Student David Bates, 19, suffered a broken pelvis when he was pinned under masonry in his attic bedroom in Barnsley Road, Wombwell, South Yorks.

His father Paul Bates said: "There was a rumble and then we heard a bang and my son screaming 'Dad'."

I woke up and the first thing I thought was that there were a load of burglars in the house
Jamil Ali
Sheffield

His son was taken to hospital and was due to undergo surgery later.

Bev Finnegan, who lives in Market Rasen, Lincolnshire, said: "I was terrified to be honest. The noise was really, really terrifying... it was so deep and rumbling.

"It felt like the roof was going to fall in. There were people coming out in their dressing gowns wondering what it was. It was quite an experience."

A Lincolnshire police spokeswoman said the force had received dozens of calls from residents but there were no reports of anyone in the county being injured.

map

"There is slight structural damage, cracks and a couple of chimneys damaged. There's nothing serious at present," she said.

"Mostly people were distressed by it so there were a large quantity of calls coming in."

Speaking from Gainsborough, Mike Thomas, chief fire officer for Lincolnshire, said crews had been called out to 50 incidents and one fire as a result of the quake.

And Justin Cowell, in Gainsborough, told BBC News that it "started as a massive shake".

"People had come out into the street. It seemed the whole town had woken up."

Tom Edwards, from Heckington, Lincolnshire, said he heard a noise like "an underground train and an enormous roar".

"I thought I was probably going to get killed."

HAVE YOUR SAY
The bed suddenly dropped away from me and then came back up.
Bert Hobby, Bedfordshire

Dr Brian Baptie, of the BGS, said: "An earthquake of this size, of magnitude five or thereabouts, will occur roughly every 10 to 20 years in the UK.

"So we can get these kind of moderate to significant earthquakes of this size but they're relatively rare."

The BGS recorded an aftershock with a magnitude of 1.8 at about 0400 GMT.

The main 10-second quake, which struck at 0056 GMT at a depth of 15.4km (9.6 miles), was the biggest recorded example since one with a magnitude of 5.4 struck north Wales in 1984.

Thousands of people from across England contacted the BBC to describe how their homes shook during the tremor.

Graphic from earthquake guide

Jemma Harrison, 22, in Bury, Greater Manchester, said: "It was really bad. I was fast asleep and woke up and the room was shaking and there was a loud bang and alarms were going off."

Natasha Cavey, in Tipton in the West Midlands, said: "All my cupboard doors flew open and the whole house shook, it was unreal. I can't believe it."

David in Alrewas in Staffordshire said: "The birds were flying around like it was daylight.

"It was quite severe. I experienced the Dudley one and this was more severe.

"I went outside to see if the roof had collapsed. I could see the furniture in the room moving, it was like it was on a jelly mould."

PREVIOUS QUAKES IN THE UK
April 2007 - Folkestone, Kent (magnitude 4.3)
December 2006 - Dumfries and Galloway (3.5)
September 2002 - Dudley, West Midlands (5.0)
October 2001 - Melton Mowbray (4.1)
September 2000 - Warwick (4.2)
April 1990 - Bishop's Castle, Shropshire (5.1)
July 1984 - Nefyn, north Wales (5.4)
June 1931 - in North Sea near Great Yarmouth (6.1)

Dr Baptie said: "The largest earthquake that we know about that has struck the UK was about 100km off the east coast of England on the Dogger Bank and it had a magnitude of 6.1.

David Somerset, 41, from Driffield near Beverley in East Yorkshire, said: "I have never felt one as strong as that one before. I was in my sitting room and the grandfather clock was rattling rather violently.

Philip Norton, a BBC reporter for Look North in Hull, said: "Everything started wobbling.

"The windows were rattling and the blinds were visibly moving. It sounded like the roof was coming in."

BBC reporter Lynn Crombie in Norwich said she was "absolutely terrified" and thought somebody "had driven into the side of the house".

"Then I thought somebody must have kicked the door in and everything continued to rattle inside the house," she said.

Jamil Ali in Sheffield said: "I woke up and the first thing I thought was that there were a load of burglars in the house.

"The kids were screaming and so was my wife. It was that violent you actually moved yourself."

The West Midlands was hit by an earthquake in 2002 in the Dudley area that reached a magnitude of 5.0 and one measuring 4.3 hit Folkestone in Kent last year.


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