I felt it in Coventry and it only lasted a few seconds, like someone was shaking my chair which would be hard as I was alone and it's a big heavy chair.
I wonder if this is just a tremor before the main one in a couple of days
Houses shook across much of Britain as the country experienced its biggest earthquake for thirty years early this morning. Impressively, within ten minutes of the tremors, CSEM (EMSC), the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre, revealed the cause: a 5.4 magnitude quake with an epicentre 10 miles north east of Lincoln, in …
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Well I've been up working all night, and here in Essex I haven't even suspected a HGV of doing some rather late deliveries, let alone been shaken from my bed or watched tins of beans making a bid for freedom!
How anyone in London can claim to have felt it with the night buses running I will never know!
Paris, well she might have made the earth move for someone.
To be fair, the USGS was more accurate with the initial mag estimate (4.7 as opposed to 5.4). I've now bookmarked the EMSC site - good use of Google Maps!
I sent BBC London Radio a text with a summary of the USGS report 15 mins after the event. I too found it rather frustrating they were turning to callers for info as opposed to being a bit more resourceful themselves.
Then again, I suppose it's understandable not everyone's aware of sites monitoring seismic events in the UK.
There's a contradiction in your article. On the one hand, you say "a great big earthquake had happened, somewhere in Britain.", but otoh, you go on to say it was 4.9 (I've seen it listed as 4.7 through to 5.4).
I hate to rain on your Pommy parade, but 4.9 is not "a great big earthquake". It's a moderate shake and might be mildly thrilling in the right circumstances, but "great big earthquake" just doesn't seem to fit with anything under 6.5
I went home to Gisborne, New Zealand at the end of last year and was unlucky enough to get caught up in this: http://www.stuff.co.nz/4331457a6000.html . Having just returned to this fine country, I thought I'd be on safer ground. Apparently not. There must be other's in this boat. They're out to get us!
It is inevitable really...
"Global warming to blame?"
Of course it is... I give it till midday today before the Beeb trots out a line of 'experts' who say this is all our fault and We should stop driving our cars...
Unless of course, Sky News beats them to it... and gets an 'expert' to phone in and tell us how he was asleep in bed dreaming of a green earth and it woke him up with the idea of a new carbon footprint scheme...
All regrets though, the Ministry for Making Our Lives a Living Hell (or HMRC, DVLA... take your pick) didnt collapse or fall in and destroy the nanny state...
Sympathies to the old gent in Yorkshire...
"A man from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, was taken to hospital after a chimney collapsed and fell through his bedroom roof. A spokeswoman for South Yorkshire Ambulance Service said the man suffered injuries to his pelvis and was taken to Barnsley District Hospital."
I dont know if he is gonna be angry that his house lost its chimney or that he will still be in the waiting lines this time next week when happily he can escape and read it all first hand on Google news...
I dont know what's worse... The English reporting on an English story ... or all you yanks and Aussies going on about how 'that's nothing' etc...
Who cares either way?
Now terrorism on the other hand... An American just needs to fart and its reported in the news as terrorism..
so STFU about your pansy comments and just keep in mind this is/was a British site
would all you kiwi gits kindly stfu? It makes the news because its UNUSUAL... So would you kindly stop making out that you are big brave men by posting "only 4.9!!" You are not manly for feeling things shake.
See, after a few pints you go to bed at 1.. then the building shakes..
and it's like eh... wha? I was confused.. went back to bed.
Although, being a non-retard I was quite capable of distinguishing this from a truck as it didn't do the engine noise thing.. like a truck does.. you know.
So as this is the biggest in 30 years, or 25 according to beeb, why does beeb list this.. "September 2002 - Dudley, West Midlands (5.0)" I'm no earthquakeologist but.. 5 is bigger than 4.9 right?
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I was so scared last night when it happened, I was literally quaking in my boots. I couldn't get back to sleep so I player a few games of Quake III. Insomnia prevailed, so I had a warm bowl of Quakers Oats cereal. Even so, I was still wide awake, and felt a religious realisation - starting today, I would become a Quaker!
Mine's the one under the falling rubble...
...Or just a mild shake.
I slept thru it, but I'm blaming that on living in California for a while (you get used to these things eventually), but since the UK doesnt have a active fault line it's quite an event over here and will probablybe on the news for weeks to come until Jordon or Paris do something stupid again.
OMG just watched the BBC News segment on it here:
The first 'man on the street' who was at the epicentre is hilarious. He says something along the lines of: "We felt the earthquake the floor was shaking... first thing we though was that it may have been terrorists".
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I'm waiting for the inevitable announcement from the gummint - not sure whether they'll say al-Qaeda or global warming are responsible, but expect appropriate knee-jerk legislation to protect us from shaky ground and the terrorists which will invariably emerge from the cracks.
I don't see the big deal myself - Britain experiences quakes of around magnitude 4-5 every 10 or 20 years. As for me, I heard a fairly loud bang at around 1am, thought it was a couple of books falling off a shelf in the next room (never underestimate the noise a copy of the Camel book can make when dropped from 7ft or so), paid it no mind and went back to sleep.
My ex-girlfriend often said I could sleep through an earthquake, but I proved her wrong. Ha!
Also nice to see that Mr.Orlowski has the cojones to allow commenting on his articles.
Paris - 'cos the earth moves for her quite a lot. Apparently.
Seeing as Britain is smack bang in the middle of a plate, nowhere near any current volcanic activity, and checking the geological map of the british isles, the location of this earthquake isn't near any existing faulting, then it's strange. Although the two big quakes in the UK have happened pretty close to each other in relative terms (Dogger bank is almost a 100km straight line east of the current quake's epicenter).
North Wales I would expect quakes cos of the massive amount of faulting there, but with the enormous sedimentary plateau's here, it's a bit more strange.
However, who knows what's actually under all that Kimmeridge clay?
However, it was bloody scary when you live not far from it. It did fair shake the house!
I'll get me coat...
"How could atmospheric warming cause or even contribute to an earthquake?"
Well, things expand when they get hot and so must the Earth that's basic science right GET IT - SCIENCE and so of course it's our fault and of course we should stop doing bad things RIGHT NOW and and and save the whales and the baby seals oh that was last year anyhoo...
I'm going, I'm going, no worries mates...
Yep the earth moved for me, phwoaargh. But anyway, good comment Andrew.
Watching the news this morning they were saying along the lines of "Anyone with a story to tell or who captured images on their phone send them in to us". WTF? Why don't the lazy journo bastards go outside and actually do their jobs. I'm bored of the news becoming a flaky collection of badly taken video clips from someones mobe*.
I'm also amazed by the amount of sound bites of people saying how terrified they were and that the sky was falling etc etc. I'm surprised that these people aren't running around on the streets like headless chickens rioting and looting. Surely most Brits in the affected areas were barely able to resume consciousness to notice, given that most of the poor buggers had to get up early for work this morning.
* ALERT ALERT ILLEGAL WORD DETECTED SEND IN THE BLACK HELICOPTERS
Some random in his pyjamas on the BBC just said he woke up and thought it was terrorism....
In about 9 months we have gone from crashing a car to shaking the very earth, thank god the paddies never worked out how to build an earthquake machine.
<--- He fell off his chimney
Thank you for putting us straight on this, but rest assured that most Brits (even otherwise geographically ignorant sofa-bound chavs) are aware that on the other side of the world lies the most beautiful place in the universe, where mud bubbles from the heat of molten lava only inches from the surface, and that cities* are built on the rim of the continent's most active volcanoes just to show the rest of the world how it should be done.
However, this is news for the UK as we rarely experience earthquakes that are noticed by anybody other than trained observers with equipment calibrated to within a nanometre of its life, and it did result in some** structural damage.
This kind of "let's tell the British how stupid they are and how everything in the Antipodes is a billion times better" take on life I'd expect from an Australian, but I'd really expect more from natives*** of New Zealand.
One of you would have been enough; the others could have read previous replies and thought "hmmm, somebody's already represented my views, perhaps I'll just read on", instead of making a post equivalent to "yeah... like what he said...".
Personally, I think this is interesting, and it would have been derelict of news agencies not to have mentioned it -- to UK residents (I'm not saying give it top billing on CNN Worldwide).
*cities: what you call a city, we call a village
**structural damage: granted, the towns in question are largely still standing
***natives: well, you know what I mean
Well....mortar wasn't falling onto me, so it was never going to wake me up. Seriously, it was like most things in this country - just like we expect great things from our sports teams and then they turn out not to be as strong as we thought. This was exactly the same, we have an earthquake and everyone gets all excited but it turns out to be the equivalent of a fart to other countries hurricanes.
*rolls over and goes back to sleep*
Yes, I agree with all the other people saying this is news in the UK because we don't get earthquakes, from what I remember from GCSE geography (not a lot) but the region of the planet we're on is one of the geologically most stable on the planet, if I could remember what the region is called it would help, but someone far cleverer will know and probably post it, or a google will reveal it.
Anyway, the reaction I have got from most people when the subject is broached is "no fair, I didn't feel it"
I don't mind not having felt it because it means I'm most likely to stay alive by avoiding such things. To anyone who thinks that these things are great, go live by a volcano, have fun, I hope the pyroclastic flow doesn't get you, and to all saying "that's nothing" you're wrong, it's something.
To all those antipodeans suggesting that Britain is overreacting to this earthquake. May I remind you that several chimney pots came down (when are these architects and builders ever going to learn?) and one man was injured (though that toll might yet rise).
You might want to look at how close we are to a plate boundary. We're not insane enough to live anywhere near a current one. Most of the faults we get quakes on round here haven't been plate boundaries since The Cheviot was taller than Everest, if ever (Hint: it's now been weathered down to less than 1000m so it's been a while).
As it is, I slept right through it. I suspect it'll have to get up towards 7 or 8 before I even notice - I've slept through several car crashes within about 10 feet of my non-double-glazed bedroom window.
..obviously an attack like this must be terrorist in nature. Something that can have such a widespread effect and place people in a state of fear and alarm or, indeed, terror (=terrorist caused).
When can we expect the government to announce a clampdown on all earthquakes, those conspiring to cause earthquakes (God? Can we expect Gods representatives to be arrested in a series of dawn raids on cathedrals, churches etc).
Just what are the anti-terrorist squads doing to prevent further earthquakes? (which have much greater potential for damage and loss of life than so-called terrorist activities).
Yep woke me up, in Stoke-on-Trent.
2nd earthquake I've experienced, and this was a lot stronger than the last.
According to reports only one person injured due to falling masonary though.
To all the kiwi's and yanks, STFU, as a rule we don't have earthquakes so this IS a big deal to us!
Is that the moment it's actually suddenly of immediate interest, you couldn't actually get onto the BGS earthquake site. But seeing as it's an .ac.uk domain, an doubtless therefore running on a 486SX server circa 1994 which they can't get the funding to replace, I'm not entirely surprised.
Here we are in the UK all excited about this little quake (the Media are anyway). While looking at the EMSC website I noticed that Indonesia has had 10 earthquakes in just the last 48 hours of about the same magnitude or higher than the ONE we got this morning. That puts it all in perspective.
I live in Lincoln and I woke up in the middle of the night confused like i was woken up by an external force rather than of my own brain. I looked at the alarm clock at it was 12:55am. I thought is that right? should be AM? I was 99% sure the clock was accurate and I hadn't even altered it recently but for some reason I was just unsure. I woke up later and looked at the clock and it was 1:10am. Now the am was against the one I was 100% sure it was okay. I went back to sleep.
Then this morning I was watching BBC Breakfast and they said there was an earthquake at 1am and I was like "oh wow, that must have been the reason I was woke up last night". I wasn't concious or quick enough to actually feel tremors and I can't remember what was going through my head when I first woke up but I guess it must have been the earthquake.
I did geology at keele uni and they have (or had) a PC in the foyer of the earth sciences department that shows real time readings on the seismology detection systems.
You could phone anyone of their students and ask them on the phone to read it out.
We get forty quakes a day at times but they are all too small to feel.
We are in the middle of a plate but the way earth quakes are genereated isn't just about being on the edge of a moving slab of rock, you can get them from faults which can be anything from the result of a coal mine collapse or cave in and natural formation 1000's of years ago. (wales is riddled with them, as is the pennines) If memory serves the midlands has a large one running through it.
Or they can be waves passed through the earth from a quake somewhere else in the world that coelesce under us.
There is a lot more to it but it is far too early to get really scientific.
Been a bloke on Radio Sheffield this morning describing the awful scene he found on his patio this morning.....
"The Peg box has fallen over and the pegs are all over the floor. The Plastic ones are mixed up with the wooden ones, it's all just terrible!"
Must admit it scared the crap out of me, thought the boiler had blown up again!!
I thought it was the cats fighting on the landing. Realised that I'd woken the little bugg^H^H^H^H darlings up, so went back to sleep, quite chuffed with myself that I'd actually noticed this one, since I'd slept through the Birmingham and Manchester ones.
To echo the sentiments above: Yeah, it's a big story - Another Earthquake, but THIS TIME we noticed it. But interviewing pissed up students, telling us that the planet was being ripped apart, because the UK never ever ever ever never gets hit by earthquakes is just....wrong. Doesn't anyone on breakfast telly (I think it was the BBC - I was channel surfing just to find out how big it was) have any memories of the last few quakes?
Does anyone know how many earthquakes we get per year here in dear old Blighty? I'd heard it was 5 or 6, but nobody even notices them. (Was that a truck? - Nah, it was all the Kiwi's yawning simultaneously.)
Can we have Andrew Orlowski and Lewis Page "Fan" icons please? I'm unable to justify the use of la femme Hilton in this case.
The problem is, the only people that would call up news stations are idiots, idiots with an idiotic opinion. Then when they get asked for a quote they hype it up. Next time im going to call up twice:
1: "I felt like the world was being destroyed, I was sure the sun had just exploded and we was all about to die"
2: "Im from the British Geologist Survey, just thought I would let you know the earth quake was an 8.7, the epicentre being near Bell End in Northamptonshire"
Purely to see which one they publish, and to get Bell End mentioned on the news with a crazy incorrect fact would prove how dumb the media really are.
As is typical of the current education system, you have been (partially) lied to. Faults do not just occur at tectonic plate boundaries; there is one running close to / through Dudley which is most likely a good candidate for where the shift occured to cause the 'quake.
This is not the most interesting piece of geological info about England, though. Cornwall is built on the site of a previously active volcano, which left behind its magma chamber (when cooled and solidified, called a Boss). This giant lump of granite is releasing radioactive Argon gas in sufficient quantities for living there to be equal to living on a nuclear submarine.
I swear if I hear that comment once more, I may go postal. People seem obsessed with spouting the same unfunny catch phrases over and over when things like this happen. That or we get a dick waving contest where other countries boast that they have bigger penises and earthquakes.
I live in Nottingham. I slept through it. Doesn't sound like I missed much anyway.
Though I am almost in the opposite end of the country, living in Devon.
I see that the BBC are misreporting the Dudley earthquake as a 5.0, when it was a 4.7, which is causing some of the confusion over whether last nights quake was bigger. They are also reporting this quake now as a 5.3, this is probably due to a confusion over the different magnitude scales, the BGS press release mentioning the earthquake was 5.2 (ml, or Richter scale), while the USGS and EMSC are giving the 4.7 and 4.9 values in the Moment Magnitude scale (mb). The Moment Magnitude scale is adjusted to approximately give similar values to the older Richter scale, and is more widely used by seismologists. The Richter scale doesn't give as good a spread in values on earthquakes above 6.8 in magnitude, so it is harder to differentiate between the severity of large earthquakes.
How much the earthquake is felt on the surface is basically a factor of depth, you can have a 8.0 earthquake at 600km and not feel it, or a 4.0 at 6km and feel it. The New Zealand posters are living over a subduction zone on the east coast, so the earthquakes there can be 100km or greater below the surface at times (the 6.8 mentioned was 40km deep, and offshore). The EMSC have evaluated this earthquake to a mere 2km depth. Another scale is used to measure the intensity of an earthquake, i.e. how much of an impact it had on humans and structures, the Modified Mercalli Scale (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercalli_intensity_scale). Judging by the reports in the linked news article on stuff.co.nz, this earthquake was a V or VI in Gisbourne, and last nights earthquake would be rated as a V near the epicentre.
Everywhere in the world gets minor earthquakes on a daily or hourly basis, these are usually smaller than magnitude 2.0, which can't be felt at all. The UK is no less geologically active than other supposedly stable regions in the middle of continental plates, as these plates are not solid single objects, but a collection of smaller bodies that have joined together in the past.
One of these collisions was the Variscan orogeny (mountain building, though they've since been largely eroded - giving you the sedimentary beds mentioned by one poster). This was the most recent phase of the British Isles being formed, with a portion of Southern Ireland, South Wales, and all of South England being added. This join (not a narrow line, but a broad zone, as some beds have been pushed under others) runs approximately from Pembrokeshire, through Bristol, up to Leicester/Nottingham, then down to around London. As you can see, you don't have to go far from this to reach last nights earthquake.
Safety goggles icon both as a warning to the unwary of the geological details in the post, and as I have my geologist hat on, having finished a degree in the subject last summer.
Research is the key to avoiding looking daft pal;
To state [..snip]in the UK (which has almost zero quakes annually)[snip...] does make you look rather a buffoon:
The two in Market Rasen were the 6th and 7th quakes in 2008 in the UK.
Based on averages since 1979, we have roughly 170 earthquakes a year in the UK.
That said - I agree with the Kiwi's in part - it has been sensationalised in the national media far too much.
Yep it was unusual in its magnitude, but it wasn't a huge disaster and doesn't justify the coverage its had.
Begs the question though - what will the Gov't try to sneak out today while nobody is looking?
As an Australian living just over the river from the epicentre I'd just like to say woke up somewhat startled.
After my excited thoughts of "maybe someone finally levelled the Kingstom Comms building!" subsided I went back to sleep only to be woken by a text message from (a brit of course) saying "did you feel the quake?".
No I was in a f$%king hot air balloon at the time. Did I miss anything?
4.9 or 7.9, means nothing to me. Having spent some time on the Galilean Moons of Jupiter then you know what a REAL quake is. Put it this way, there are 9 richters per groonag plus one bushel. Back on IO you regularly get quakes around the 50 groonags, and if you pop over to Europa then your looking at a quake of at least 3 zamblasters. (18 groonags per zamblaster, plus two dogs legs).
And that, dear Americans, Kiwis and Ozzies, trumps everything you have.
Sky last night was very funny. People calling in to report their experiences. "Room shaking". "Very frightening", etc. BBC website even funnier this morning. "I was terrified to be honest. The noise was really, really terrifying... it was so deep and rumbling.."
This is going to be as funny as the time there was a very minor tornado in Birmingham. The news was full of "Tornado Alley" stories for days after.
Keep a stiff upper!
I love the fact that all the pompous people from America and NZ are all saying "zomg that was nothing! try 6.5!". Sure they may have had more powerful earth quakes because they live on fault lines.. but why the hell are they seemingly proud of it? It's like a big kid trying to make a little kid cry because the big kid has better Pokemon cards or something.
In the UK, we rarely have earthquakes or tremors which are this strong and that is why there is a bit of fuss being made. Get over it and go back and enjoy your 6.5's.
I live on a hill side in sheffield, and the bang woke both me and the missis up, bolt upright in our bed, the cat was shitting itself and dissapered for the rest of the night, all the birds outside started twittering and screeching and when the quake hit, the was a tremendous rattle, we were physically moved in our beds, the light fitting was rattling and you could hear the pots in the cupboards downstairs hitting off each other!
That scared the pants off me, i've been in bigger earthquakes, quite a big one on LA some years back, but this one was so out of character for the uk.
@ the Kiwis, so the island you live on is notoriously unstable, and you're bragging about it...
"...first thing we thought was that it may have been terrorists."
Honestly, what an utter moron. How is it that this sort of hard-of-thinking imbecile is reporting "news" to the rest of us? If you do occasionally suffer from such idiotic thoughts, please engage the filter that keeps them from leaking out of your mouth.
Yeah, the one with the clue-by-four in the pocket... no thanks, probably best if I walk, it'll help me calm down.
Stu, just to keep you informed. There was no damage to the city centre, it still looked bloody awful when I cycled through it this morning ;)
Didn't really notice it myself. Probably kicked the dog and blamed him for farting and then dropped straight back off.
Although I did heat that a house partially fell down in Shakespeare street on GMTV this morning.
Considering there are about 2,000 earth tremors per year on average in the UK, where's the news?
I lived very close (around three miles) to the epicentre of the Warwick quake in 2000. Stuff on the shelves rattled a little but that was about it. The thing that really surprises me about the coverage is that something that occurs 200 mile away from the capital and it actually gets reported by the BBC.
Had we had a tremor of 1.1 on the richter scale in central London we would be hearing about it until hell freezes over. In general terms, London is the UK as far as national news is concerned.
For my own money, I wish we had a quake of magnitude 9 in the South East, devastating London and if I was really lucky, a huge fissure would open up and swallow the South East whole.
Unlike the Titanic (and London hopefully), I'll go down in flames!!
I love the people who call the police when there's an earthquake; obviously earthquakes are probably against the law and these people who call the fuzz clearly care more than the rest of us who cynically believe that there's probably not much the police (or the fire brigade or even the army) can do to stop it.
But all hail the news for telling us we're Ok!
I hope this finally means that BBC hacks and new labour press officers will look up what the word 'seismic' means, and stop using it as a synonym for 'big'. Here are some news.bbc.co.uk headlines from over the last few years:
Liverpool toasts 'seismic' victory (Jun 03)
'Seismic shift' needed over abuse (Nov 05)
Seismic change in the post (Aug 06)
They're on shaky ground.
(On second thoughts, perhaps I should have chosen the coat icon)
I feel the point you are missing isn't how strong it was but that earthquakes are just freaky when you are in them. Sure if you live somewhere that gets them a lot you are gonna find em less freaky each time but we hardly get any like that. I was up, was a tad on the disconcerting side, but i didn't loose any sleep over it.
I felt a similar quake coming from or around Wales (if my memory serves me right) a couple of years ago. Didn't last long, I heard a crack sound in the ceiling, and it took me a few minutes to fathom what happened, and I concluded that this looks like a quake, I went straight to an internet chat room and asked if anybody had experienced the same thing, pretty much everybody was asking what happened. Woke up the next day, after hearing the news, and it seemed most people I knew slept through it.
Last summer we had a typhoon nearby, I saw hail and a big gust of wind, followed by very clear weather, I saw no typhoon, but I guessed the conditions would be right... I mentioned it to somebody a few hours later and somebody said a whole road had been destroyed by a typhoon,a couple of miles away.
This time around (last night) was in the same room, in my bed, around the same time as the last quake, the same crack sound above me, and the bed swayed from side to side for about 5 to 10 secs, really weird feeling. I didn't get out of bed this time, I knew I'd be waking up to the news headlines after last time.
And yes. I'm in West London would you believe!
It rained lightly here this morning.
Sounded like a very small truck a long, long distance away... I was so astonished.
I too enjoy the articles by Messrs Orlowski and Page. Much better than certain other articles that suffer from irreleVance.
Since global warming is responsible for everything it is pretty obvious that it caused the quake too. There is doubtless already a graph somewhere, based on 14 different models built around two data points, that shows how breathing out increases the earthquake rate.
A major earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale hit in the early hours of Wednesday 27th February 2008.
Epicentre: Market Rasen Lincolnshire. Victims were seen wandering around aimlessly
muttering "fackin ell" and "whatta cant" The earthquake decimated the area causing approximately £30.00 worth of damage.
Many locals were woken well before their Giro arrived. Local FM News reported that hundreds of residents were confused and bewildered still trying to come to terms with the fact that something interesting had happened in Market Rasen.
One resident - Tracy Sharon Smith, a 15-year-old mother of 5 said "It was such a shock, my little Chardonnay Mercedes came running into my bedroom crying. My youngest two, Tyler-Morgan and Megan-Storm slept through it ll. I was still shaking when I was watching Kilroy the next morning."
Apparently though, looting, muggings and car crime did carry on as normal.
The gable wall that fell down in Shakespeare Street started cracking hours before the quake. Cracks appeared at 21.40 and the collapse occurred at 23:30 an hour and a half before the quake, so this incident seems unrelated to the quake.
Oh for heaven's sake - come on children! Mine's bigger than yours? Sounds like the school playground! In the UK we get around 200 quakes annually. Most are so small they co un-noticed. We don't live on a volcano and don't have cities wiped out. Some countries do and thousands die or are made homeless. For the NZ/anti-NZ bunch above it's not a fun thing that happens on a big scale. We were woken up in Peterborough by the house shaking and a very loud rumbling and I thought initially one of the local RAF Harriers had perhaps crashed, but then thought it was probably and earthquake. Must admit, my immediate thought was, "Cool!" But I'd hate to be in the real deal where buildings fall down.
The BGS web site was down within minutes - at 1am it was "taking too long to respond" so maybe that's why the BBC didn't consult them.
In other words, you don't need a fancy-pants seismograph to find out when earthquakes occur - just set up an web page about earthquakes, and correlate to peaks in the traffic logs.
My wife, who spent ten years in San Francisco (including the 1989 quake) was awake and reckoned it felt like a 5.0. Not a bad estimate, given the subsequent numbers. Of course, I pretty much slept through it. I have vague recollection of wondering why there was a large truck outside at such a silly hour of the morning (they do go down our street but are supposed to keep movements within limited hours).
Seriously, I've never experienced an earthquake until last night. Ok, so it was only enough to wake me up for 1 minute to check for burglars... but aren't most "first experiences" over quickly and ending in dissapointment?
And what's with the boasting by other countries on how big their earthquakes are? I hope it never happens, but if one day you experience a massive earthquake which destroys half the country, I can see a load of Brits sitting in front of the TV with a cup of tea saying "yeah, they were right... our quake in '08 was a bit of a pansy... what time's Jeremy Kyle on?"
So the spoof earthquake appeal email gets trotted out again. I had the same with minor variations about quakes in Dudley, Wales and Manchester (that I can remember). Really didn't expect an El Reg reader to stoop to sending it though.
Paris - she'd probably think it funny as well.
Not sure where you get the idea that "the BGS don't even bother to take their own measurements" and people don't bother to check the BGS website. I have always looked at their site after previous quakes.
The BGS have a network around monitoring sites around the country. I would think the data from them is fed into a worldwide network and probably used by the USGS.
"The BGS operates seismic instrumentation at over 140 sites in the UK. The majority of these sites is equipped with either vertical component or three component short period seismometers. To record large earthquakes on scale, accelerograph stations are installed at more than 25 sites. In addition, a number of broadband stations are installed, providing data over a wider frequency band."
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lol - god bless our under-educated chavs.
To all those quake veterans, you studs you, its been said before, but get over yourself - it's odd for us to have feel-able earthquakes, even though we get tiny ones all year round.
The thing shocked me since it's the first earthquake I've felt, it was violent enough to make me fall off the sofa I was perched on the end of, and made my wife cry out for help cos her bed was shaking with nobody but her in it. The house made a god-awful noise, and it sounded like thunder outside.... my first though as it built up was "im not shaking my leg, and its not that windy outside", then the house moved.
All of this was very very bizarre for us, I mean - my house never moves, it's built from bricks so why would it?! So forgive us for being shocked, I bet if the sun suddenly disappeared and it rained in darkness for 340 days of the year you guys would be screaming about the apocalypse - but that would just be the weather either side of our annual Summer weekend.
Thank goodness for alistair millington, one of the few people who posted who has a clue what this was all about. The epicentre of the quake was close to a fault (limestone ridge) which runs from near Pickering in noth Yorkshire into the Cotswolds. It was loud and relatively violent at ground level because it occurred at a very shallow depth compared to most. I'm sorry to say I missed it even though I was only 9 miles from it. OH is right, I can sleep through an earthquake.
The floor shook for a few seconds ..... felt like 30, probably nearer 5, because I had no suitable timing reference. The power stayed on, there was no smoke, no flames, no secondary indications of anything like a vehicle impact with the house.
Working on the principle of "once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains -- no matter how improbable -- must be the truth", I concluded it must have been an earthquake; and working on the principle of "if you can't correct it, don't try to detect it" went back to sleep.
For a second there I thought this was talking about a rise on that 12 year old FPS. ;)
Anyway, 4.9 is a minor shake, we had something about 5.6 or something recently (Mexico City) and we found out ... because the radio started talking about it about 5 minutes after. Then again, the epicenter wasn't that near anyway... people near the epicenter did feel the shake quite intense...
I'd fallen asleep on the sofa whilst watching Shawn of the Dead about 5 minutes before. So as well as being in that horrible just fallen asleep state, there were zombies involved as well - the results weren't pretty, let me tell you!
If we were in NZ, we'd have immediately known that it was an earthquake and wouldn't have cared - if it turned out to be a bus or a lorry going past it would've been front page news...
Obviously we have the opposite problem over here, where we immediately assume it's a big lorry, but it takes us ages for the penny to actually drop. However, at least our ladies have two legs and we can remove their clothing without having to use shears....
"...first thing we thought was that it may have been terrorists."
So it's official then. The terrorists have, in fact, won.
Because when we live in constant fear of what terrorists can do, and instantly assume that anything untoward that happens "may have been terrorists", they've achieved their aim (to, errr, terrorize people).
Fuckin' stupid bastard sheep.
Thank you, people - the comments on this story brought tears to my eyes.
I slept through it (UK, Midlands, 60 miles from the epicentre). I slept through the Dudley earthquake too. Mind you, I'd probably have slept through the blitz. However, my missus said the plates rattled in the kitchen and the cat took a funny turn (WTF she was doing downstairs at 1am remains a mystery).
The real horror came later - all those inarticulate idiots spouting off about the terror of it all on local radio this morning interspersed by truly moronic commentary from the presenter. Name and shame - I mean YOU Liz Kershaw (halfwit sister of jailed presenter Andy Kershaw) on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire.
Look, 5.0 or less is not much here in California (NZ be damned). Nothing to get up and tell anyone about.
Once (in the 70's as I recall), I awoke to a shaker around 3am or so. My only reaction was to look at the clock so I could correlate with the news media. Not much else to do.
Nothing to see here, please move along.
"One of you would have been enough; the others could have read previous replies and thought "hmmm, somebody's already represented my views, perhaps I'll just read on", instead of making a post equivalent to "yeah... like what he said..."."
Yeah, because El Reg displays the comments the moment they're posted...
@Mat - at least our sheep are worth shagging.
We tease the poms because New Zealanders are tough.
Our biggest "town" is built on a volcano field.
When a volcano erupts we run to get sausages - and BBQ them over the lava.
Pyroclastic flow? Perfect for pressure-roasting a cow.
Near a fault line? Near? Our entire country is directly ON TOP of a fault line.
True story: I was on a bus and a pair of pommie tourists asked me what our tallest mountain was. I said Mount Cook. They asked me if it was possible to drive to the top of it. I said no, but you might be able to climb it if you're very good.
News flash: If you can drive to the top, it's not a mountain.
To reiterate what my fellow NZers have said: You poms are all a bunch of pansies.
I enjoyed the quake even more than the last real flight simulator I was in. In fact, it even made me realise how Richter got his scale.
1. Take 95% normal distribution of human male penis size measured in inches [the "male" bit IS significant, BTW].
2. Remove the inches.
3. Share it with the other geologists.
We felt it, woke up and went back to sleep.
In the morning, I had a quick look around for any minor damage. The old (C19) bits of the house, made of bricks, lime mortar, lathe & plaster were fine. That's because the older construction materials are just that little bit flexible (which is why older houses get away with shallower foundations). OTOH, the new bits, like rigid stud walls grafted on to the old structure, had a few hairline cracks.
In my nerdy way, I thought this was a little bit interesting.
Oh, and would somebody please find that retarded cunt who was going on about terrorists and shove a very large cactus up his arse?
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I thought "Nuke!".. But no, the missus is still on webcam and mobiles are working.. so meteorite or earthquake then?
Cue some net searching (and finding no obviously placed links on the BGS website, mostly just refreshing BBC news to find out what it was in RIchters)
Got me excited because of armageddenous possibilities, but.. yeah, wasn't that bad here in Cov.
I am interested in earthquakes and have been long for a long time and I also live in Iceland. So I pretend to know something about it. The earthquake on the mainland crust aren't common, specially this size. So when BGS says there is about one of ML5.3 (local scale) (EMSC uses mb4.9 scale, mb = body wave, http://www.seismo.ethz.ch/redpuma/magnitudes.html) earthquake every 10 years or so they really mean it. However, that is just given for one location. So other locations might be ready to crack some rock and make an earthquake.
Regarding the last notice, it is almost correct. I say almost, because I know that it is better to have more sensors closer to the epicenter of the earthquake then a really far away from it. Reason for that is the magnitude of error (location, size, depth) increases when the distance increases between the station and the earthquake. So for BGS it would be better to have more sensors so they could properly locate an earthquake when it happens. This is also about tracking aftershocks, but most of them appear to have been really small, one news sad one ML1.8 around 04:00. But smaller earthquakes don't get reported to USGS or EMSC, for EMSC the minimal size is ML2.0, for USGS it appears to be around mag 4.5.
BGS can report live size data on there web page, but I would think that the list of earthquake would be small or empty most of the time.
The reason for earthquakes in the UK is the fact during the early (not sure exactly when) period in the earth history there where active faults and volcanoes what is now UK. From time to time the old faults get active and make one or two earthquake.
The earthquake was detected by people interested in earthquakes in the UK and Netherlands. Also, according to a geologist that I spoke to with today at Icelandic Met Office about the earthquake in the UK it got record by them on few stations in east Iceland.
Disclaimer: I am a Kiwi and live in Rotorua - volcanic and earthquake prone.
I am utterly embarrassed by the inane comments of some of my fellow countrymen. But it keeps with the pattern. A few months back there was an earthquake felt in Auckland. The media went into hysteria over it just as it seems they have in the UK over this one. And then a few lunk heads from the provinces started getting stuck into the wimpy Aucklanders with comments similar to what have been recorded above.
You Kiwis who have slung off at the Poms for being mildly agitated by an earthquake, it is better to keep your opinions to yourself.
... the 1 Million iPhones NOT sold this month in the EU, that is.
(Phil Schilling call to Stevie Gods): "Boss?, Situation has been remedied.
(Stevie Gods): "Right, what next?"
(Phil Schilling): "We plant a story with all of our whore Hacks in the media that the 1 Million iPhones are "unlocked" and in China (where they are made)."
(Stevie): "Great, those whores will spread anything we tell them too. Give em an extra $20 bucks in their next checks from PR".
(Stevie): "Naw, just threaten them that we'll pull our ad money or they won't get to test the next piece of shit from China we put out."
(Phil Schilling): "Right, Boss"
(Stevie): "Have my valet bring around the Jobs 1 G5, I feel like flyin and dumping a few million grams of Carbon on those bastards from the Sierra Club." ... "Damn it's great being the King Bastard!
(Phil Schilling): "Boss, you're a real Limousine Liberal!"
Ps. I guess The Register Boffins didn't bother reading all the SCIENTIFIC reports that this has been the COLDEST winter since the 50's, there is a documented COOLING TREND, ALL of the ice and snow is BACK TO NORMAL in the Arctic, Canada and Greenland! Get a clue, the Church of Global Warming was all bunk.
Met a friend who lives 10 miles from the epicentre, but who lived in NZ for 6 years. He says it is the worst quake he has ever experienced. He noticed many "worse" (as measured) quakes in NZ, but the UK quake was much more worrying. His wife was fairly relaxed about the quakes she experienced in NZ, but was scared whitless by this one. Depth matters people.
Just to be really pedantic - it is correct that distant seismometers can be more accurate (as the waves go straight down and are not corrupted by local structure), but ones on the opposite side of the earth are not useful as the waves get refracted away from the denser material at the earths core. 30-90 degrees away is optimal.
(ex-seismology-PhD, now software developer)
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