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North Yorkshire earthquake: Magnitude 3.8 earthquake strikes North Sea off UK coastline

The tremor was detected 100 miles east of the seaside town of Scarborough

Katie Forster,Lizzie Dearden
Tuesday 03 January 2017 22:13 GMT
Top five biggest earthquakes ever registered in the UK

A magnitude 3.8 earthquake has struck the North Sea off the coast of North Yorkshire, the British Geological Survey (BGS) said.

The quake hit 150 miles east of the seaside town of Scarborough at 6.52pm on Tuesday.

BGS originally reported a tremor of magnitude 3.9 from its devices in Glasidale around 10 miles east of Whitby.

The quake's centre was 11 miles (18 km) deep and was located around 30 miles (50 km) from the epicentre of the largest recent earthquake to hit the UK, at a magnitude 6.1 in 1931.

Hundreds of earthquakes, almost all too faint to be felt by humans, are detected in the British Isles each year by the BGS.

In 2011, a 3.6-magnitude quake struck North Yorkshire around five miles north west of Ripon.

Tremors were felt in the towns of Bingley and Skipton, near Leeds, where people reported doors, windows and heavy furniture rattling, reported the BBC.

The most damaging UK earthquake recorded was in the Colchester area in 1884. Around 1,200 buildings needed repairs after the shaking, which collapsed chimneys and cracked walls.

Most earthquakes occur on the eastern side of the British mainland, most often in the North Sea.

The driving forces for earthquake activity in the UK are unclear, the BGS said, but include compression caused by the movement of the Earth’s tectonic plates, and uplift resulting from the melting of the ice sheets that covered many parts of Britain thousands of years ago.

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