Cumbria was shaken by a 20-second earthquake measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale last night with an epicentre at Coniston. It is the sixth earthquake to have taken place within a 31-mile radius in the last 40 years.
Susan Potter, a geophysicist at the US Geological Society, said: "This general region has had earthquakes of the same magnitude in the past."
Alan Robertson, a hotelier in Eskdale, near Whitehaven, said: "There was this sort of a really loud rumble. Then the entire building shook."