As if snow wasn't enough: earthquake hits East Midlands

No damage or injuries were reported following the 'average' sized tremor

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The Independent Online

The snow-blanketed East Midlands was dealt a further blow today when an earthquake hit the region.

No damage or injuries were reported following the “average” sized tremor, with police forces and fire crews across the area saying they have not been called out to any incidents.

The British Geological Survey (BGS) confirmed a 2.9 magnitude earthquake struck the East Midlands at 5.20am, with the epicentre located near Loughborough, Leicestershire.

Mike Flood, 45, who lives in Loughborough with his family, felt the earthquake, saying: “I was awake, actually - I get up quite early. It was about 5.10am…It was almost like a plane going over or an explosion in the distance.”

He added: “The house creaked - there was no house moving or pictures falling off the wall, but the house just creaked.”

“It was strange - you know something's happened and you know it's not a normal thing,” he went on.

He said his teenage children were woken up by the quake.

“They were asking what it was, and I said 'Oh, it could have been a plane or it might have been an earth tremor', just to allay their fears.

“Our daughter is in the bedroom at the top of the house so she probably felt it a bit more.

“It woke our son up. I don't think he knew what had happened or didn't hear it, but it woke him up afterwards.”

One caller told BBC Radio Leicester: “It sounded like an underground train coming and everything wobbled, but nothing fell off shelves.”

Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Police forces all said they had received no reports of any tremors and had not been called out to any incidents.

A spokeswoman for Leicestershire Police said: “We've not received any calls about any tremors or any damage overnight.”

Mr Bukits said that properties in the area, which has a history of earthquakes, would not have suffered any structural damage.

On October 28 2001 there was a 4.1 earthquake near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, which Mr Bukits described as “big by UK standards”.

Putting today's quake into perspective, the expert said it was a million times weaker than the 8.9 earthquake which struck off the Japanese coast, causing a devastating tsunami in March 2011.

“Earthquakes generally have to be of 4.5 to 5 magnitude to cause damage,” he added.

Earthquakes in the UK are described as intraplate seismic activity, as they take place far from tectonic plate boundaries.