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‘I thought a bomb had gone off’: Birmingham shaken awake by earthquake

Residents tell of homes shaking after “explosion” sound at 10.30pm

Emily Atkinson,Matt Mathers
Tuesday 22 February 2022 13:22 GMT
Birmingham hit by 3.2 magnitude earthquake

An earthquake rocked the Midlands and "shook" houses on Monday night, with residents saying the tremors felt like a "bomb going off".

The quake struck at a depth of 10km (6.2 miles) and hit 7km (4.3 miles) northwest of Birmingham just before 10.30pm, the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said.

Its epicentre was understood to be Andrew Road, on the Charlemont Estate, near West Bromwich, close to the M5 and M6 motorways.

Tremors were felt Tipton, Stourbridge, Birmingham, Dudley, Wolverhampton and Wednesbury - among other areas - with users reporting “quite strong shakes” from inside their homes, according to the website Volcano Discovery.

People living in Walsall have described how they were left fearing the worst as many were jolted from their beds on Monday night.

Carpenter Dale Russell, 37, from Bloxwich, Walsall, said: "It was the most peculiar sensation, I thought a car had crashed into my house at first.

"But then there was this deep rumbling and you could feel your whole body vibrate. I didn't know what was going on and was pretty terrified for a few seconds."

He added: "You don't get many earthquakes around here, so of course you have no idea what's happening. I thought the worst because of these storms recently.

"When your walls and bed start shaking just as you're dropping off to sleep all sorts of things start going through your head."

Laura Parry, 36, of Walsall town centre, said: "It thought a bomb had gone off or something, it sounded like an explosion and I shot bolt upright in bed.

"Then I thought someone was trying to get into the house so I woke up my husband, but he was too scared to move as well.

"We just couldn't figure out what it was. We eventually went outside and a lot of our neighbours were in the street just as confused as we were.

"A couple of burglar alarms were going off. It was really bizarre. The whole house shook."

The West Midlands was last rocked by a major tremor more than 20 years ago, when a quake of magnitude five struck Himley, Dudley, on 23 September 2002.

It came after tens of thousands of homes were left without electricity in the wake of Storm Eunice, bringing record-breaking winds which claimed at least 12 lives across northern Europe and wrought widespread disruption and destruction.

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