THE EAST Midlands was hit by its most powerful earthquake in over ten years this morning.
The 3.2-magnitude earthquake, powered from a depth of 2.5 miles, struck the Oakham area of Rutland at 7.07am.
British Geological Survey seismologist Davie Galloway said: “There was a 4.1 in Melton Mowbray in October 2001 - so this is the biggest in the region for 13 years.
“It was quite widely felt but we probably get about three of these at this size somewhere in the UK each year.”
It was felt up to 28 miles (45 km) away from the epicentre of the earthquake near Wellingborough but most reports have come in from people who are within 15 miles (25km) of Oakham.
Residents in parts of Stamford, Kettering and Oakham went online to say they felt the earthquake.
Among those who felt the tremor was former English rugby union player Austin Healey. He tweeted: “We’ve just had an earthquake in Oakham. The house was shaking for about 10 secs.”
Sara Dodd, who is in Whissendine, tweeted that it “felt like an explosion but without any sound”.
Dr John Park wrote: “What the hell was that. Whole house shook about 7.07am! It was either an explosion or earthquake in Rutland. Anyone else feel it?”
‘No fracking link’
Mr Galloway denied claims that the earthquake was connected to fracking in the area. He said: “It has nothing to do with fracking. We record about 200 earthquakes and it is to do with the earth’s dynamic plates moving, probably about the pace of the growth of a fingernail.
“The most common reports we have had is that houses shook, windows rattled for quite a few seconds, people were quite alarmed. Another comment was that it felt like a lorry was trundling along the road or there had been a crash but no one has reported cracking in their houses.
“We do not get the big earthquakes like they would get in places like Japan.”
Japan’s most powerful earthquake was a 8.9-magnitude tremor, which struck about 400km (250 miles) north-east of Tokyo, triggering a massive tsunami in March 2011.
The biggest in the UK was the 5.4 magnitude tremor which hit the Lleyn peninsula in north Wales in July 1984 and in 2008 a quake centred on Market Rasen, Lincolnshire, was measured at 5.2.