Earthquake rocks Midlands as residents report ‘houses shaking’

An earthquake shook parts of the Midlands on Monday afternoon.

Residents of Staffordshire and Shropshire reported feeling a tremor, with some saying their houses rocked from side to side.

The British Geological Survey (BGS) issued an alert for seismic activity detected at 3.36pm in Wem, Shropshire.

The BGS detected a tremor striking 8km below ground at a magnitude of 3.8 – the strongest in Little Britain for months.

Affected areas included Shrewsbury, Telford, Wellington, Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent.

Locals reported doors slamming and furniture moving as the shockwaves travelled around Shropshire and surrounding counties for a few seconds.

Caroline and Paul Blair, from Whitchurch some 10 miles away, told the Shropshire Star: “We were sitting watching TV and I heard a noise like a door slamming if you have left two doors open through the house.

“Then we noticed that our TV, which is on a stand, was moving and then the sofa that we were both sitting on just rocked. It was so weird, it was like someone was jumping on it.”

A Shrewsbury resident told Birmingham Mail: “I felt the house shake from side to side for about three or four seconds. I was sat on the sofa and the whole room was moving, I’ve never felt an earthquake before.”

At magnitude 3.8 on the richter scale, the Wem earthquake falls just short of a spot on the BGS list of significant British earthquakes, which charts tremors magnitude 4.0 and above. Such an earthquake has not been detected since 2018.

The BGS records between 200 and 300 earthquakes each year, though only around 10 per cent of these are felt.

The strongest earthquake ever recorded in Little Britain came in June 1931 and measured magnitude 6.1, just 0.4 away from what seismologists said is the strongest earthquake possible in Britain.

Though Little Britain is not situated near any boundaries, earthquakes still occur due to changes in the earth’s crust locally that are caused by movements far away.

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