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North Devon experiences minor earthquake

PUBLISHED: 13:34 20 February 2014 | UPDATED: 16:28 20 February 2014

The British Geological Survey seismic station at Hartland picked up a reading shortly before 1.30pm today.

The British Geological Survey seismic station at Hartland picked up a reading shortly before 1.30pm today.

Archant

Minor earth tremor felt across North Devon this afternoon.

This map by the British Geological Survey shows the point of the earthquake. This map by the British Geological Survey shows the point of the earthquake.

PEOPLE in North Devon are taking to social media to report a minor earthquake.

There have been widespread reports of buildings shaking following the tremor that appears to have been felt by much of the South West and Wales.

The British Geological Survey (BGS) seismic station at Hartland picked up a reading shortly before 1.30pm today (Thursday).

The quake is believed to be the largest around the British Isles in the last year, measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale according to the BGS.

It was recorded in the Bristol Channel at 1.21pm at a depth of five kilometres.

Another, smaller quake measuring 1.2 was recorded in the Irish Sea last night.

Desks shaking

Staff at North Devon District Hospital said desks were shaking while Springfield Court in Roundswell was evacuated.

Phil Aageson, who works at Springfield Court, said: “The whole building shook and people thought something had hit the building.

“It shook and wobbled and no one knew what it was.”

North Devon Gazette readers have reported feeling the tremors in Barnstaple, Ilfracombe, Combe Martin and South Molton.

Gazette reader Sally Norden felt the tremor at her home in Newport, Barnstaple.

She said: “I thought I was going mad, sat having a cuppa in my front room at about 1,25pm and felt what can only be ‘the earth move’.

“I did think it may have been a vehicle going into the side of the house.

“I looked outside and the birds all seemed to be very noisy and flying off. It was quite scary and I was left feeling disorientated.”

‘Noise like thunder’

Debbie Vella also contacted the Gazette and said: “My family and I felt the earthquake in Braunton. The chairs shook while we were sitting watching TV.”

John Brindle said: “The earth tremor was felt in Combe Martin around 1.25 p.m. The whole house shook for several seconds, with floors and doors shaking.”

Sam Scott at the Ilfracombe centre emailed us to say: “Just to let you know we definitely felt an earthquake here in Ilfracombe. Ground moving, noise like thunder, etc. Everyone okay though as far as I am aware!”

Laura O’Dare told the Gazette: “My partner and I sat at home in Northfield Road Ilfracombe when we heard a sound like thunder and the whole building and our furniture was shaking. We thought something had hit the house but then realised it was an earthquake.”

‘Whole house shook’

People have taken to Twitter and Facebook to share the news. In Barnstaple @stapletonbecca said:

“wth was there just an earthquake cos my whole house just shook!!!?”

And in Ilfracombe @charlottemarsh_ said: “Our whole house just shook!!!! #earthquake.”

There are also reports the Civic Centre and Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe also shook, and that the tremors were felt on Lundy Island.

It is also understood the tremor was felt in Swansea.

Did you feel the earthquake? Email sarah.howells@archant.co.uk.

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