It was a winter’s night in Somerset when residents reported how their homes “shaken” in what was later detected as an earthquake. The tremors were felt as far away as Bridgewater, Weston-super-Mare and even at Blandford Forum in Dorset.
It is unusual for such natural events to occur in the UK, let alone Somerset. Very slight tremors have been reported before – but 3.2 was one of the highest on the Richter scale in many years. This interactive map prepared by the US Geological Survey indicates that the magnitude 3.2 earthquake was precisely recorded 7 kilometers south of Taunton at approximately 10.49 pm on Thursday, December 5, 2019.
Although the small Somerset earthquake was not quite as deadly as the 5.4-magnitude Racine Market earthquake in 2008, which resulted in £30m insurance payments, it was still widespread.
Further Read: Best Dog-Friendly Bars To Enjoy In Somerset This Spring
The British Geological Survey said on Twitter last night: “We are receiving some reports of seismic activity in the Somerset area. We are studying it and will post an update soon. The BGS has received several reports of the event taking place in several towns and villages in Somerset.”
People across the county reported experiencing tremors of varying degrees while one claimed it was the second time they had felt them in Langport. “As before, a thunderous roar in the distance before a single jolt hit, giving me an instant headache,” Tweetcraft wrote on Twitter.
Dave Arthur, of Taunton, felt the quake in Taunton and thought something had “hit the side of the house”.
Steve Whalley also claimed on Twitter that the earthquake’s strength was equivalent to the energy released by the “largest conventional bombs” used in World War II.
Small tremors like this are not uncommon in Britain where a 2.1 magnitude earthquake was felt in Mole, western Scotland, and a 2.3 earthquake was recorded near Halifax, West Yorkshire, just a month ago. At the beginning of 2018, a 4.4-magnitude earthquake struck Wales, 12 miles north of Swansea, the largest in a decade and resulted in the evacuation of a university campus.
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However, the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in the UK was in June 1931, when a 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Great Yarmouth. It was felt in many locations across Britain and damage was reported from 71 different places, with the strongest effects in Philly, where the top of the steeple was rotated.
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