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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 June 2006, 15:48 GMT 16:48 UK
Earthquake shakes west Highlands
Lochcarron (Pic: Undiscovered Scotland)
The quake was felt in Lochcarron
An earthquake has shaken the west Highlands causing floors to vibrate and sounds resembling an explosion.

The quake was centred near Applecross, Wester Ross. It measured 3.1 on the Richter scale and happened at 1223 BST.

The British Geological Survey (BGS), which monitors earthquakes, said there were about eight events of this magnitude in the UK each year.

An earthquake which killed 6,000 people in Java, Indonesia, on 27 May was of a magnitude of 6.2.

Olaf Preston, who lives in Lochcarron, about 10 miles from Applecross, experienced the earthquake.

He said: "I was at a neighbour's having a cup of coffee when I heard an almighty bang.

"It sounded like an explosion almost."

Mr Preston and his friends discovered it was a quake when they checked the internet for any news of unusual events in the area.

Applecross sign (Pic: Undiscovered Scotland)
Applecross was near the epicentre of the quake

They spotted a seismic alert on the BGS website.

It was the biggest quake to hit the region since a magnitude 3.3 event on the island of Raasay on 16 September 2004.

A report on the site said: "BGS have received a number of reports from people in Gairloch, Achnasheen, Stromeferry and Ardaneaskan, Highland region, of a felt event.

"Reports described 'the whole floor vibrated', 'the whole house shook', and 'we thought the chimney had fallen down'."

BGS said that between 200-300 earthquakes are recorded in the UK every year, but those measuring 3.1 were "significant".


SEE ALSO:
UN plans six-month quake relief
02 Jun 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Mild earthquake 'like explosion'
21 Jan 05 |  Scotland


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