06 December 2019 08:43
Get the biggest daily stories by email Subscribe Thank you for subscribing See our privacy notice Could not subscribe, try again later Invalid Email An earthquake measuring 3.2 magnitude shook parts of the UK late on Thursday night. Parts of the South West felt the quake at 10.49pm. The epicentre was close to Bridgwater in Somerset with 200,000 homes feeling tremors around Taunton and Yeovil. The effects were felt in several towns and villages in Somerset, the British Geological Survey said. Reports submitted to the BGS said houses had rattled and one person "physically felt my bed shake".
The BGS said: "We are receiving some reports of seismic activity in the Somerset area. It follows a smaller magnitude 0.9 earthquake off the coast of Cornwall last month. Get the biggest Weekend Report stories by email Subscribe Thank you for subscribing See our privacy notice Could not subscribe, try again later Invalid Email Parts of the South West were hit by an earthquake last night. It measured 3.2 on the magnitude, affecting around 200,000 homes in Taunton, Yeovil and Bridgwater. It hit the South Somerset area at around 10:49pm on Thursday and had a depth of 5km and lasted just a few seconds - with residents noting they felt the whole house shake and hearing milk bottles rattling.
The British Geological Survey (BGS) reported that the earthquake occurred in the sea off Portreath. It happened at 00.53am on October 24. The tremor registered as magnitude 0.9, which can be felt by a seismograph but usually not by people. The BGS reports that "the Navy (Southern) Diving Group advised that they were not working in the region therefore were not detonating any ordnance at this time". The earthquake appeared in their list of 'earthquakes around the British Isles in the last 50 days'. What causes an earthquake? Movements within the Earth's crust cause stress to build up at points of weakness. When the stress exceeds the strength of the rock, the rock fractures and the stored energy is suddenly released like a spring. Intense vibrations or seismic waves spread out from the initial point of rupture, the focus, like ripples on a pond. These waves are what makes the ground shake and can travel large distances in all directions. Near the epicentre, the waves can be very large, making them extremely destructive if there is enough energy released. A 3.2 magnitude earthquake struck Somerset with reports of houses rattling after the tremor. The quake struck Bridgwater, north east of Taunton, at 10.49pm on Thursday, according to the British Geological Survey (BGS). The effects were felt in several towns and villages in Somerset, it added. BGS have received several reports of the event being felt in several towns and villages in Somerset. Reports described "whole house rattled", "physically felt my bed shake"… — British Geological Survey (@BritGeoSurvey) December 5, 2019 Reports submitted to the BGS said houses had rattled and one person "physically felt my bed shake". Residents took to social media to describe how there was a boom which had shaken their houses, with one person saying the quake had felt like their house had been hit by a lorry. One user @nickyshier posted on Twitter: "We just had an Earthquake here in Somerset..thought a lorry had hit our house!" We just had an Earthquake here in Somerset..thought a lorry had hit our house! — Nicky Shier-Skip Rat (@nickyshier) December 5, 2019 Another @flutter61 added: "Earthquake felt in Taunton, Somerset tonight, thought something had hit the side of the house, made the windows shake, quite scary?#earthquake." The BGS posted on social media that the earthquake had been felt in several towns and villages across the county. It said on Twitter: "BGS have received several reports of the event being felt in several towns and villages in Somerset. "Reports described 'whole house rattled', 'physically felt my bed shake'… Advertising "… 'a low rumble', 'house gave a short cracking sound' and 'big rumble and house was given a definite shove', indicating an intensity of at least 3 EMS." The earthquake is the latest to be felt in the UK following a series of tremors in Surrey and Lancashire. A 2.5-magnitude quake, centred on Newdigate near Gatwick Airport, struck in May, following a 3.0-magnitude earthquake on February 27, a 2.0-magnitude tremor on February 19 and 2.4 and 0.2 quakes on February 14. Energy company Cuadrilla, which has been fracking for shale gas at its site at Preston New Road, in Lancashire, was forced to suspend work in August after a series of tremors. For those of you who felt Thursday evening's earthquake in Bridgwater, Somerset, please fill out our felt report questionnaire. Felt reports provide our seismologists with very useful information: — British Geological Survey (@BritGeoSurvey) December 6, 2019 The BGS is asking residents to fill in a questionnaire on its website to record what they experienced.