England has been struck by two earthquakes in one week, with minor tremors rocking the region of Surrey, BBC News is reporting.
At 6:54 a.m. local time on Friday (1:54 a.m. Eastern Time), a 2.4 magnitude quake was felt in the towns of Newdigate and Dorking, near London’s Gatwick Airport. The earthquake wasn’t felt in London proper, and indeed, Gatwick’s airport is a solid 25 miles from central London.
The British Geological Survey, in a tweet, described what the earthquake likely felt like.
“The effect of the tremor was as if a truck had impacted the property, the noise was quite loud but very brief, probably lasting less than 2 seconds.”
An area resident, identified only as “Liz,” said she was more alarmed by the noise than anything else.
“I heard this noise and felt everything shake. It didn’t last very long, but I felt it. I actually thought one of my dogs had knocked something over. I didn’t associate a bang with an earthquake. It was very mild – it was the bang that got me.”
Similarly, Roy McNeil and his wife were having their morning coffee when the ground started shaking beneath them.
“We both looked at each other and said ‘Was that a little earthquake?’ It certainly felt like one.”
Friday’s earthquake was the second earthquake to strike Surrey in a few days.
On Wednesday, as The Independent reports, a 2.6 magnitude tremor also struck the region. That quake was felt in Newdigate and Charlwood in Surrey, and in Rusper and Crawley in West Sussex.
Both quakes originated from about 3.1 miles underground. Neither is believed to have caused any damage.
This week’s earthquakes were actually the second and third earthquakes to strike the Surrey area this year. On April 1, a magnitude 2.7 earthquake also struck Surrey – the first in 250 years.
Earthquakes are not unheard-of in the British Isles, according to the British Geological Survey. Quakes strong enough to be felt by humans occur about 20-30 times each year, while sensitive scientific instruments pick up another “few hundred” every year.
The biggest earthquake in recorded British history occurred in 1931, about 60 miles off the east coast of England. The 6.1 tremor caused only minor damage.
The most damaging earthquake to ever strike the British Isles, however, was near Colchester in 1884. There were no scientific instruments to measure its magnitude at the time, but it damaged several buildings and caused chimneys to collapse across the area.
Professor Richard Selley from the Mole Valley Geological Society said that the recent upticks in earthquakes in England is no cause for concern.