Earthquake shakes homes in Lancashire

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Homes across Lancashire were shaken in the early hours of Wednesday as the United Kingdom was hit by its biggest earthquake for nearly 25 years.

People were shaken violently from their sleep just before 1am after the quake - reportedly measuring 5.2 on the Richter Scale - struck, sending shock waves across the country from its epicentre in Lincolnshire.

Police in Lancashire received more than 200 worried calls just after the quake, which lasted for about five seconds.

An ambulance was called out after reports of a woman reported feeling dizzy and fire fighters received numerous calls, but they were not required to attend any incidents.

Neil Swindlehurst, of Liverpool Old Road in Walmer Bridge near Preston said the tremor caused panic.

He said: "Residents noticed slight creaking noises in their houses which intensified to the point that whole houses started to sway and residents could hardly stand up.

"The quake lasted only a matter of about 10 seconds but was quite frightening while it lasted."

Patricia Wilson, of Woodway, Fulwood, Preston, said: "I was woken just before 1am this morning by a strange noise in my bedroom.

"I started to sit up in bed but suddenly my heavy bed was rocking very fast and then stopped and started again rolling backwards and forwards slowly.

"I was quite shocked by this for some time as I was in the house on my own."

Michael Green, of Moss Side, Leyland, was working late at his computer when the tremor struck.

He said: "I was working on my pc at 12.58am when all of a sudden the monitor started to shake and my chair shook.

"At first I didn't know what it was, but then realised it was an earthquake."


Jennie Greenwood, of Cromford Walk, Fishwick, Preston, said: "At approximately 1am a few neighbours and I felt an earthquake.

"It lasted about 15 to 20 seconds, starting with a little shaking which I thought was a noisy car passing, then all my ornaments shook and I felt the bed physically shake."

A man from Bamber Bridge said: "I was awake but it woke my son up. It was so strong it shook the house -and I looked outside to see if anything crashed into house."

The quake was centred in Market Rasen, Lincolnshire, but tremors spread across the United Kingdom.

Insp Simon Atkinson from Lancashire Police said: "I timed it at two minutes to one when it occurred in Lancashire. For us it lasted about five seconds in duration, shaking all the chairs and desks in our police station and right across the county elsewhere.

"We took a spike of calls within minutes of the incident and had about 200 calls from concerned members of the public and curious members of the public as well.

"But so far we have had no injuries."

A spokesman for the North West Air Ambulance said: "We felt tremors here in our control room in Anfield.

"We have had a few of our vehicles reporting that they felt tremors as far as Macclesfield and up towards Southport but no actual calls from the public."

Seismologist Dr Brian Baptie of the British Geological Survey said: "This was a significant earthquake for the UK and will have been widely felt across England and Wales."

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Did you feel the tremors? Do you know of any businesses which caught a shaking building on CCTV? Email Ben Robinson on or ring him on 01772 838029.

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