Zyra's website //// Geology //// Earthquake by Bravenet //// Site Index

Earthquake in the UK?
Earth Tremor 2008 February 27
Richter scale magnitude 5.2 with the epicentre near Market Rasen, Lincolnshire

I happened to be within 50 miles of the epicentre of this when it happened. Purists probably wouldn't describe it as an "earthquake" but at the time, this earth tremor seemed quite scary. It was at night and I was in bed, and when the rumbling started it was clearly neither my stomach nor a truck with a wheel balancing problem. The whole house started to shake about, and I could hear objects falling off stacks of things in the other rooms. With any unprecedented event like this, it's not possible to be sure at the time if it's going to get worse and what's going to happen next. The rumbling and shaking began to fade after five to ten seconds and then gradually tailed off until at 30 seconds it was gone.

I looked at the clock on the microwave oven by the bedside. It said 00:57. I switched on the bedside computer and made a diary entry of the event.

It was a bit of a shocker, and I wasn't sleeping well anyway, and I started to wonder whether the tremor had been a minor earthquake locally in the UK or if it had been a massive cataclysm the other side of the globe (for example an asteroid). So rather than wait for a shockwave of atmospheric turbulence and/or a tsunami to hit, I went and watched BBC News 24 to see if there was any breaking news of a major catastrophe, and I did a few searches online too. Admittedly there'd been a few earthquakes in Sumatra that week, but that's to be expected. As I watched, BBC News 24 was covering some events in the US election and a police search of some crime-blighted establishment, but there was no "we've just received a shocking report of an asteroid impact in..." , and then after an hour or so, captions started to come up next to the share price tickertape saying that there had been tremors felt around the UK, and then the newsreader announced that there had been an earth tremor of magnitude 4.7 on the Richter Scale, somewhere near to Hull.

The next day, the story had been revised to being a Richter scale magnitude 5.2 tremor about 6.3 miles underground around Market Rasen. Well, that should put the town of Market Rasen on the map!

This page is online to link up to other pages of first-hand experience of the earthquake/tremor, especially the Earthquake report from Stamp Demon and the Earthquake report from Xyroth Enterprises. There might even be an account from Toxic Drums. Plus, it gives me a chance to explain how earth tremors and earthquakes are measured on the Richter Scale and what the readings mean.

Incidentally, the "Epicentre" is the point on the surface of the Earth above the "focus" of the earthquake, as per the "ground zero" of the earthquake. The earthquake itself happens underground, of course!

I am surprised that so few of us have written contemporary accounts of this momentous event!