Residents tell of earthquake drama


An earthquake measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale struck near Ripon, north Yorkshire, on Monday night

Villagers living close to the epicentre of the second earthquake to shake northern England in a fortnight have been describing how their homes shook for a number of seconds.

The tremor, measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale, struck near Ripon, North Yorkshire, at 9.03pm on Monday and was felt as far away as West Yorkshire, Newcastle and Cumbria. The rumble followed a quake of magnitude 3.5 which struck in Coniston in the Lake District on December 21.

There have been no reports of any injuries or even any damage from the latest tremor. The epicentre has been located in a field close to the village of Kirkby Malzeard.

Local butcher Timothy Stothard was telling customers the exact location was right under his business in the village centre and he was celebrating with an Earthquake Special – three brace of oven-ready pheasants for £13.50.

Mr Stothard, who runs Highside Butchers, said: “It was like just a great big engine going past. The house shook for about four or five seconds. There were quite a few people out in the street after. It’s not often this village is the centre of anything never mind an earthquake.”

Mr Stothard added: “Everyone’s been talking about it. The place is buzzing.” He said nothing in his house was broken although the force was enough to shake up the coal in his bunker.

Chris Allinson, 17, was watching television with his family when he felt the quake hit his home in Ripon.

The A-level student, who is studying at Giggleswick School, said: “I heard a loud rumbling like the sound of a big tractor passing the house outside. Things started shaking and the dogs started barking. It got louder and louder and I jumped up to get outside. Then there was just this rush of sound like a snowdrift falling from a tiled roof, and after that, silence. We stood outside and stared at each other.”

Professor Robert Holdsworth, head of the department of earth sciences at Durham University, said: “There is nothing particularly unusual about the occurrence of the two small earthquakes in northern England, which happened over the Christmas period.

“The Ripon earthquake was a magnitude 3.6 event and occurred at approximately 11km depth, whilst a magnitude 3.5 event occurred in the Coniston area on December 21. By global standards, the UK is not particularly prone to earthquakes, but it does experience between 20-30 events every year that are sufficiently large to be felt by people. Very few of these cause significant damage, though they often make a significant and long-lasting impression on people who experience them.”

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