Leighton Buzzard earthquake: Second quake hits Bedfordshire at 2.1 magnitude

14 September 2020, 10:29 | Updated: 14 September 2020, 11:27

Leighton Buzzard saw its second quake in a week
Leighton Buzzard saw its second quake in a week. Picture: Google

By Ewan Somerville

A 2.1 magnitude earthquake has been recorded in Bedfordshire, days after a 3.3 quake rocked the same area. 

Residents in Leighton Buzzard complained they were woken up by the tremors late on Sunday night and felt their house shaking. 

The British Geological Survey (BGS) said a quake measuring 2.1 on the Richter Scale was logged at 11.20pm on Sunday, with an epicetre 3km south-west of Leighton Buzzard at a depth of 10km. 

It comes after a 3.3 magnitude quake struck near the Bedfordshire market town on 8 September, prompting locals to describe how their “whole house shook” with a “huge shockwave”, some likening it to a “large explosion”. 

BGS said: “There have been a small number of reports received from members of the public indicating they felt this earthquake, which is in the same area as the 8 September 3.5 quake.”

Seismologists said the latest quake was more than 100 times smaller than last week's tremors, and could have been an aftershock from built-up stress in rocks beneath the surface.

Some took to social media to describe the late-night tremors. One Twitter user wrote: “Pretty sure we just had ANOTHER earthquake here in Leighton Buzzard. What the hell is going on?”

User Simon Pryor asked: “Was that another #earthquake in #LeightonBuzzard?”

Ellie-May Brown replied: “I felt that i was almost asleep i just thought my one of my parents got up.”

Gill Davies responded: “Felt in Derwent Road.  Shook the house again but not as strongly as last time.”

Andy MacKenzie added: “Yep! Just shook my house again but nowhere near as strong as the other day.”

The 3.3 quake last week was felt by people as far away as Milton Keynes and High Wycombe. Emergency services said at the time they experienced a “large number of calls” but that no one was injured. 

Only 20 to 30 earthquakes are felt by people in Britain each year, and a few hundred smaller ones are recorded by sensitive instruments. Most measure far below 5.5 on the Richter scale, the threshold for more destructive quakes.