Earthquake wakes up Britain

Other News Materials 27 February 2008 10:13 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - Britain's strongest earthquake in nearly 25 years woke up people across the country Wednesday morning, officials said.

The earthquake measuring 4.7 on the Richter Scale, according to the US Geological Survey, struck at 0100 GMT with the epicentre 48 kilometres south of Hull, east Yorkshire, 205 kilometres north of London.

The British Geological Survey (BGS) said the earthquake was 5.3 magnitude and the epicentre was in Market Rasen in Lincolnshire. An aftershock with a magnitude of 1.8 was recorded by the BGS at 0400 GMT.

An earthquake of magnitude 5 occurs roughly every 10 to 20 years in Britain, according to the BGS.

An elderly man suffered leg injuries when a chimney collapsed in Wombwell in South Yorkshire, reported BBC.

East Midlands Ambulance Service, which covers Lincolnshire, said there had been a lot of emergency calls but no reports of injuries, with most calls from elderly people who were quite frightened, reported the Press Association.

The tremor was felt from Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, to the Midlands and London with reports of buildings shaking, cabinet doors opening and alarms going off.

John Jenkin, from Bourne in Lincolnshire, was woken by the tremors and said that objects had fallen from his shelves, according to the Press Association.

"I was woken up. It was hell,'' said Jenkin. "The police around here suddenly became very busy."

Wednesday morning's tremor was the strongest since a magnitude quake of 5.4 struck north Wales in 1984.

The strongest earthquake recorded in Britain was on June 7, 1931 and measured 6.1 with an epicentre north-east of Great Yarmouth in the North Sea.