Earth Tremor Hits UK

Sep 22nd, 2002, 04:52 PM
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Earth Tremor Hits UK

Just got an email message from a friend in the UK. Said he and his wife were awaken by an earth tremor about an hour ago. Everyone seems to be okay.

From the BBC:

The UK has been hit by an earth tremor.
It affected parts of the West Midlands, Wales, North Yorkshire, London, and Wiltshire.

The tremor was felt at approximately 0100 BST.

There were no reports of any injuries.

BBC weather forecaster Pete Gibbs said: "It's not that unusual to have an earth tremor, but it is unusual to be that widespread and that widely reported.

Sudden shockwaves

"However, earth tremors are certainly not that uncommon in the UK."

The whole length of Wales was shaken and people over 120 miles apart felt two sudden shockwaves

In south Wales, people in Cardiff, Newport, Caerphilly, the Vale of Glamorgan and as far west as Swansea, felt the powerful shock waves.

Callers to the BBC reported doors slamming and windows rattling.

Many miles further north, in Wrexham, officers from North Wales Police said their control room in a tower block shook violently.

Sep 22nd, 2002, 05:03 PM
Cal Worthington
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We call 'em *earthquakes* here in Californy. Ain't no big whoop, sweetums.
Sep 22nd, 2002, 06:12 PM
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And - your point is what exactly???

Quote: "earth tremors are certainly not that uncommon in the UK."

No big deal.

Sep 22nd, 2002, 09:37 PM
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Thanks for the info. I do find this interesting because earlier this year there was an earthquake near Achen, Germany, that we felt in our Brussels apartment. Hmmm, two noticeable earthquakes in the same year (Belgium, northern Germany and the UK aren't normally earthquake country, at least not for quakes that you can really feel). Wonder if that means something bigger might be coming. Get ready to rrrrumble!
BTilke (Brussels)
P.S. My only real concern is that NOBODY in these places builds buildings to withstand any kind of serious earthquake.
Sep 23rd, 2002, 12:57 AM
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This happens about every 10 years in the UK, and isn't a sign of the earth falling apart anymore than it's always done.

And it can't have been that dramatic, I blissfully slept straight through it.
Sep 23rd, 2002, 01:09 AM
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That would be because Northern Europe isn't a seismic zone, so there's no danger of any major earthquake. You don't protect your house against floods in the Sahara, and you don't build buildings able to withstand a earthquake where no earthquake will ever happen. As most people probably know earthquakes are usually caused by the movements of tectonic plates, either where two plates part away, either where to plates collide. Elsewhere you could at worst feel some minor tremor related to some remote event. The areas were earthquakes are possible are well known. They can't randomly happen anywhere.

There are some risks of earthquake in southern Europe, though (Italy in particular).

Anecdotally, the last time buildings collapsed in Paris following an earthquake was around 1250.
Sep 23rd, 2002, 01:24 AM
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Cal, Tom, why don't you guys wind your necks in? This may not be of interest to you, so don't read it and certainly don't reply to it. Some of us do find it interesting.
Sep 23rd, 2002, 02:03 AM
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We're told it was 4.8 on the Richter scale (small beer for Californians I know!) centred in Dudley (in the West Midlands, north-west of Birmingham). Earthquakes this big happen about once in 10 years in the UK. I certainly felt it 100 miles away in Oxford. But there seem to be no injuries and not too much damage.
Sep 23rd, 2002, 04:49 AM
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Clairobscur, don't be 100% sure that northern Europe is not in a seismic zone. A relative has a PhD in seismology and taught at Harvard. He says new information is being discovered in leaps and bounds about areas that were once considered more or less earthquake resistant. Plate tectonics is not a done deal. Remember, the most powerful earthquake in the lower 48 states in the U.S. was not in California or the Northwest, but in Missouri.
Sep 24th, 2002, 05:29 AM
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xxx- Does your relative think there's a good likelihood that this could be a precursor to something bigger happening in the area?
Sep 24th, 2002, 05:38 AM
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48 lower states? What are the two "upper" states? I assume that Alaska is one, but which is the other?
Sep 24th, 2002, 06:45 AM
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Hawaii is the other one.
Sep 24th, 2002, 06:53 AM
earth moved
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I didnt even notice this earth tremor. I was in Surrey at the time, and friends five mins. away were woken and shocked by it. Maybe it was because 'the earth was being moved for me at the time it happened!! hehe....
Sep 24th, 2002, 06:55 AM
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When we lived in Alaska for 6 months, we got used to the local habit of referring to the rest of the Continental U.S. as the "lower 48". You know perfectly well that I was referring to the U.S. excluding Alaska and Hawaii. Does making such a smart aleck remark help you feel better?
And xx, it's not likely that there would be a large earthquake on the U.K. landmass itself, but offshore, one is possible--the largest quake (6.1) in the U.K. "area" occurred offshore. Mapping undersea fault lines and undersea volcanoes--which is what my relative specializes in--is a field where new things are being learned constantly, sometimes turning previously accepted theories upside down.
Sep 24th, 2002, 10:15 AM
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xxx, I don't think clairobscur was being a "smart aleck". The term "lower 48" is not readily understood by people who do not live in the US, or by some who do. Clairobscur lives in France.
Sep 24th, 2002, 07:30 PM
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xxx- thanks for the response. Did your relative say that a large earthquake is not possible on the U.K. landmass?-- And, I'm assuming he studies earthquakes worldwide-- so, knowing the differences (in terms of distances to fault lines, volcanoes) in different areas- continents, has he specifically stated any predictions for the U.K.--or anywhere in Europe--or Japan?
Sep 25th, 2002, 01:52 PM
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