Small earthquake hits Britain, strongest for 10 years

A screenshot from social media shows people standing outside after the quake at Swansea University's Bay Campus.
A screenshot from social media shows people standing outside after the quake at Swansea University's Bay Campus.SCREENSHOT: TWITTER

LONDON (REUTERS) - Britain was hit by its biggest earthquake in a decade on Saturday (Feb 17), the British Geological Survey (BGS) said, with tremors felt across parts of Wales and south-west England but no notable damage reported.

The BGS said the quake was of magnitude 4.4, with an epicentre 20km north of the Welsh city of Swansea, adding that it was the biggest quake in the Britain since 2008.

Earthquakes are not common in Britain and are rarely powerful.

The 2008 quake in Market Rasen, north-east England, was magnitude 5.2 – 16 times more powerful than Saturday’s quake.

However, Saturday’s earthquake in Wales was felt as far away as Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight, over 200km away.

Videos on social media showed people gathered outside Swansea University, which was holding an open day, after an apparent evacuation.

“Thank you to everyone who attended our visit day. We hoped that you had a surprisingly ‘earth moving’ experience!” Swansea University said on Twitter.