Surrey earthquake: English county hit by third quake in two weeks

Tremors described as sounding 'like two huge explosions'

Samuel Osborne
Thursday 05 July 2018 15:46 BST
Surrey, which was shaken by 2.4 and 2.6 magnitude tremors last week, has now had a 3.1 magnitude earthquake
Surrey, which was shaken by 2.4 and 2.6 magnitude tremors last week, has now had a 3.1 magnitude earthquake (Getty)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


Surrey has been shaken by its third earthquake in two weeks.

The tremor was described as sounding “like two huge explosions,” and feeling “much bigger than the last two recent quakes”.

The 3.1 magnitude quake hit at 10.53 in Newdigate on Thursday, at a depth of 5km, according to the British Geological Survey. The organisation initially said it was magnitude 3.

Tremors were felt in Newdigate, Dorking, Horley and Charlwood in Surrey, and also Crawley and Horsham in West Sussex.

Members of the public said nearby buildings could be heard to creak and reported feeling a “large impact then two or three seconds of shaking”.

Others said: “My chairs at the table shook and the lights moved” and “the aerial rattled and the ground shook.”

Last week, Surrey was hit by a 2.6 magnitude earthquake on Wednesday and a 2.4 magnitude tremor on Friday.

The first caused a few seconds of “rumbling and shaking” while the second caused one house to shake “like a truck crashed into it”.

Three smaller earthquakes were also detected in the same location.

Surrey is one of the lesser known places where earthquakes in the UK take place, Davie Galloway, a seismologist at the British Geological Survey, told The Independent last week. “They do happen, but not frequently,” he said.

A statement by the British Geological Survey said: “We are unable to say categorically if these earthquakes are related to hydrocarbon exploration or production in the Weald, mainly because of the uncertainties in our estimates of the earthquake epicentres and depths.”

The statement added: “While it is well known that hydrocarbon exploration and production can result in manmade or ‘induced’ earthquakes, such events usually result from either long term hydrocarbon extraction, or the injection of fluids (eg hydraulic fracturing) during production.

“It seems unlikely that flow testing, even if it had taken place, would result in induced seismicity.”

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