So I was woken up an hour ago by shaking walls and the crashing of books falling off their shelves. It looks now as if the UK has been hit by an earthquake. Reports so far vary suggesting its magnitude was between 4.7 and 5.3 [edit: modified to 4.9 at 0245].

It’s the second time the earth has moved for me in Brum – the first being the Dudley earthquake in 2002.

The difference this time (as well as it being bigger – rumours are that this one was the largest earthquake in the UK for 20 years) was that I could confirm instantly that there had been a quake by logging on to Twitter, whereas I spent hours in 2002 convinced the rumbling must have been an explosion. As my Twitter account demonstrates, there were a fair few of us wondering what had shaken us out of our slumber.

It was interesting too that the first report I saw about the earthquake from a news organisation was via a tweet from Bounder. Through Twittersearch he had found a report from Twitter-based Dutch news service BreakingNewsOn. I then found other links to sites including a Seesmic (apt name for this) video blog from Midlands-based Documentally. [this was blogged seconds after the quake, I am told] I even tried to put my not-so-great skills into a Google map of the epicentre. [which, according to Podnosh, scooped Sky News!]

More on how the story unfolded from ReadWriteWeb. I’m off back to bed!

7 thoughts on “Earthquake!

  1. I remember the 1984 North Wales one. I lived in the north west at the time and was watching telly with my brother. We both thought each other had been shaking the settee on purpose.

    Last night’s Lincolnshire earthquake woke me up, but I just thought a particularly large lorry had gone past the house.

    Apparently, though, there are reports that a wheelie bin in Loughborough shifted at least three feet down the street.
    Oh my god, we’re all going to die!

  2. It freaked me out … I was in bed and the walls started shaking and windows.

    I rolled over and told my partner who said I should be quiet and thought I was going bonkers … it was quite emotional – only two years ago we lost our house to a tornado and I thought we were gonna go again!


  3. i live on a boat on the canal in the city centre, & completely failed to notice it on top of the general movement the winds the last few days have been causing anyway.

    i still remember the dudley earthquake as if it was yesterday – at the time i lived next to the bristol road (opposite bourville college), & was already awake whilst it was going on; at first i thought it was just a heavy lorry going past, but when the rumbling & shaking just kept carrying on & on & on (or so it seemed) my next thought was that a terrorist had managed to let off a nuke somewhere, such was the paranoia still in existence so close after september 11…

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  6. I am happy to report that I have not experienced many earthquakes and the recent one didn’t seem to affect us in Somerset (we’re not on the Midland Micro-Continent!)

    But I do remember experiencing the big Mexico City Earthquake in the 1990s (not the very big one in 1985) even though I was in Houston, Texas. I was on the 23rd floor of an older building (1927 being old) and it shook as it is supposed to do. The elevators rattled and banged around, apparently, but no-one in Houston was hurt.

    I have never understood why so many geologist colleagues choose to live in California.

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