Page last updated at 06:57 GMT, Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Earthquake hits north Down area

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An earthquake in Lincolnshire has been felt across the UK, including in north Down.

The tremor, which measured at 5.3 on the Richter scale, is the strongest in more than 25 years.

Only one injury has been reported - a man in south Yorkshire was taken to hospital when a chimney collapsed.

Duty watch manager at Bangor coastguard station, John Hope, was at work when he felt the aftershock of the quake at about 0100 GMT.

"I can only liken it to somebody as being a load of people up in your roofspace - moving about and you hear the creaking of the ceiling," he said.

"It was quite a tremendous creaking - the whole ceiling was actually creaking.

"It was to such a degree that I looked up and I said to my... operator: 'Do you hear that?' - she was coming to terms with the fact that her chair was vibrating.

"I actually stood up, because I fully expected the ceiling to come down amongst us."

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)

The British Geological Survey (BGS) said the earthquake was of the magnitude of 5.3 and the epicentre was near Market Rasen in Lincolnshire.

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.

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.



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