'Average' earthquake hits Midlands

Halstead Gazette: An earthquake which hit the East Midlands was 'average' for the UK An earthquake which hit the East Midlands was 'average' for the UK

A 2.9 magnitude earthquake has struck the East Midlands, the British Geological Survey said.

The tremor was reported across Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire.

Julian Bukits, of the British Geological Survey, said the earthquake happened at 5.20am and was "average" for the UK.

One resident in Groby, Leicestershire, told BBC Radio Leicester: "It lasted at least 20 seconds and some DVDs fell off a shelf in my room." Another caller said: "It sounded like an underground train coming and everything wobbled, but nothing fell off shelves."

Leicestershire Police said they had received no reports of any tremors and had not been called out to any incidents. A spokeswoman said: "We've not received any calls about any tremors or any damage overnight." A spokesman for the county's fire and rescue service also said it had not received any calls reporting an earthquake.

The epicentre of today's seismic activity was located near Loughborough, Leicestershire, where residents would have felt a bang and a slight vibration.

Mr Bukits said that properties in the area, which has a history of earthquakes, would not have suffered any structural damage.

On October 28 2001 there was a 4.1 earthquake near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, which Mr Bukits described as "big by UK standards".

Putting today's quake into perspective, the expert said it was a million times weaker than the 8.9 earthquake which struck off the Japanese coast, causing a devastating tsunami in March 2011. "Earthquakes generally have to be of 4.5 to 5 magnitude to cause damage," he added.

Earthquakes in the UK are described as intraplate seismic activity, as they take place far from tectonic plate boundaries.

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