Minor earthquake felt across southeast

Wednesday 29 May 2013 23.05
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Seismograms as recorded on broadband stations near the epicentre of the earthquake (Pic: British Geological Survey)
Seismograms as recorded on broadband stations near the epicentre of the earthquake (Pic: British Geological Survey)
The epicentre of the earthquake was in the Irish Sea near Wales (Pic: British Geological Survey)
The epicentre of the earthquake was in the Irish Sea near Wales (Pic: British Geological Survey)

An earthquake close to Wales has been felt in Ireland, with tremors reported across the southeast of the country.

The epicentre of the earthquake in the Irish Sea was 13km away from the town of Abersoch, Gwynedd, and measured a magnitude of 3.8, the British Geological Survey (BGS) said.

It happened at around 4.15am and was felt in Carlow, Kildare, Wicklow, Wexford and Dublin.

The earthquake was felt over an area of 140km by people who reported "intense shaking".

The BGS received more than 100 reports from people who felt the quake.

One described "the whole house rocking," with many stating that windows and crockery rattled. The shaking typically lasted for 10-20 seconds.

The earthquake is the largest in North Wales since a magnitude 4.3 earthquake on 18 August, 1984.

"This was a larger than average earthquake, we get around one a year of this size," a spokesperson said.

"People have reported hearing an initial loud banging, followed by rumbling, and intense shaking," the spokesperson added.

The Irish National Seismic Network (INSN) has said that further earth tremors are likely in the coming days in the Irish Sea and North Wales.

The INSN suggested that today's earthquake was moderate enough to have relieved any pressure built up in the region and that it was unlikely to be a precursor to a stronger earthquake.

Tom Blake from the School of Cosmic Physics in the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies said there has been a significant increase in seismic activity in the area in recent months.

He added: "It is unlikely that the magnitude of today's earthquake will be exceeded in the Irish Sea in the coming days but aftershocks can be expected in the hours and days ahead, although many will be too weak to be felt."

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