Earthquake hits Wales: The biggest tremor to strike Britain in ten years shakes Swansea at 4.4 on Richter scale as buildings are evacuated and shaking is felt from Cornwall to Preston

  • It is the biggest earthquake to hit the UK in 10 years and was felt throughout the south-west of England too
  • Reports of tremors also came from the north-west, with people claiming building shook in Merseyside
  • On February 27 in 2008, an earthquake measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale hit Market Rasen in Lincolnshire

  • Wales and south-west England have been rocked by the biggest earthquake to hit the UK in 10 years.
    The tremor, which measured 4.4 on the Richter scale, was centered eight miles north-east of Swansea in Cwmllynfell.
    It is the biggest earthquake to hit the UK a decade after a 5.2 quake was recorded in Market Rasen, Lincolnshire on February 27, 2008.
    Dyfed-Powys Police said in a statement they are receiving an 'extremely high call volume' reporting some sort of earth tremor in the area. 
    As well as residents in Newport, Cardiff and Swansea reporting that they were affected by the earthquake, tremors were felt in Bristol and Cornwall.   

    Students were evacuated from Swansea University's campus in the biggest earthquake to hit the UK in 10 years 
    Students were evacuated from Swansea University's cam

    The seismology graph from the British Geological Survey shows the size of this afternoon's earthquake in south Wales
    The seismology graph from the British Geological Survey shows the size of this afternoon's earthquake in south Wales
    Several buildings in the south-west of England were damaged during the earthquake, Avon Fire and Rescue Service said. 
    Their spokesperson said: 'We have had a half a dozen calls to report the earthquake. We have responded to one in the Bristol area to give advice after concerns about structural damage.
    'We attended the home in the Knowle area and made checks and couldn't find any damage.
    'We would encourage anyone with similar concerns, particularly if they have issues with subsidence, to contact a structural engineer or their landlord.' 

    Swansea students were pictured outside on campus as the epicentre of the quake was concentrated eight miles north-east of the city

    South Wales students were forced from the campus buildings of Swansea University after the quake hit near the city

    Earthquakes that shook the UK in recent years

    The UK is expected to have an earthquake measuring 5.0 and higher on the Richter scale about once every eight years.
    Tremors between 1.0 and 1.9 are expected across the country every two-and-a-half days. 
    The biggest earthquake in recent years was on February 27, 2008, with Market Rasen, Lincolnshire at its epicentre. It measured 5.2 on the Richter scale and was felt across much of Britain, including in Newcastle, Yorkshire, London, the Midlands, Norfolk and Wales.
    In the past five years there have been 14 earthquakes in the UK, including today's.
    Gwynned in Wales was hit by a 3.8 tremor on May 29, 2013, and on August 25 of the same year Blackpool in Lancashire was hit with shakes ranging from 2.3-3.3 on the scale. 
    On February 20, 2014, the Bristol Channel experienced the UK's biggest quake in six years, measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale.
    Five more followed that year, with epicentres in Rutland (April 12 and 18), the North Sea (May 20) and Jersey (July 11 and July 28). 
    The East Midlands were rocked once again on January 28 2015, when tremors returned to Rutland, with that year's other quakes falling in Sandwich, Kent, four months later, when Gwynned, South Wales was also hit in separate tremors.  
    There were two earthquakes in one day in Moidart in the Highlands of Scotland on August 4 this year. The tremor at 3.43pm measured 3.8 and one at 3.45pm was 3.4.    

    Anthony Collins from Trowbridge in Wiltshire told Wales Online: 'I was sat on my settee and all my ornaments and my cabinets began to shake.
    'My daughter has been on social media and has everyone seems to have felt it.'  
    Thousands described their experience on social media after the mini-quake happened at 2.31pm.
    Floors shook across Merseyside as residents in Liverpool and the surrounding area reporting buildings 'shaking' and the 'ground moving' on Twitter. 
    Others took to social media to joke about the devastation wrought in the form of turned over chairs and smashed plant pots. 
    Scientists at the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) described it as a 'strong earthquake' and said south Wales was the epicentre.
    Alison Morgan, who works at Uplands Newsagents in Swansea, said: 'My colleague noticed it first and wine bottles in the shop were shaking and a tile fell off the ceiling. I thought it was a lorry going past but it was an earth tremor.
    'It was a significant feeling that went on for about two seconds - I was moving from left to right suddenly despite being stood on the same spot.
    'The last one I experienced was in the 1980s when I lived in Pembrokeshire.'
    Linda Davis said on Twitter: 'Lying on my bed suffering from tonsillitis and my bed & chandelier shook, only a earthquake in Caerphilly near Cardiff ! All over the net.....'
    Laura Davies posted: 'Felt very strong here in Cardiff #earthquake.'
    @Foodyfeed-efc said: #Definitely an earthquake in Liverpool about 10 / 15 mins ago. Windows rattled and bed shook from side to side. Thought I was going mental for a second.'
    Laura Hughes said: 'The whole house just started shaking! Was then almost crushed by the dog jumping on me for protection... interesting way to die #Cardiff.'
    The British Geological Survey said: 'We are in the process of analysing data for the felt report of a tremor in the South West of England. As soon as we know more we'll let you know.
    'Event epicentre approx 20km NNE of Swansea, with 4.4 magnitude at a depth of 7.4km.' 

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