Village in Durham hit by 1.3 magnitude earthquake as Storm Ciaran causes havoc across Britain

2 November 2023, 14:21

Storm Ciaran causes chaos across Britain
Storm Ciaran causes chaos across Britain. Picture: Alamy

By StephenRigley

A small village in County Durham was hit today by a 1.3 magnitude earthquake.

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The tremors were recorded in Quaking Houses near Stanley at 1am this morning, according to the British Geological Survey. 

There are roughly 200-300 quakes in Britain every year, but the vast majority are so small that no one notices them. Experts say there are 20 or 30 over 2.0 magnitude which can be felt over a wider area.

Waves crashing in Dover Kent, as Storm Ciaran brings high winds and heavy rain along the south coast of England.
Waves crashing in Dover Kent, as Storm Ciaran brings high winds and heavy rain along the south coast of England. Picture: Alamy

Read More: Fury of Storm Ciaran: 104mph winds smashes roofs while downpours flood roads and sends cars into the sea

Read More: Storm Ciarán Live updates: 'Don't go outside' warning as gales of 100mph hit

Earthquakes in Scotland are most often attributed to glacial rebound. Until about 10,500 years ago much of the north of the UK was covered by a thick layer of ice - which pushed the rocks down into the underlying mantle.

These rocks have been slowly rising back up ever since the ice melted, causing occasional earthquakes in the process.

The UK is also subject to tectonic stresses caused by the expansion of the Atlantic Ocean, which is slowly pushing the entire of Eurasia to the east, and from the northward motion of Africa, which is pushing into Europe from the south.

The most damaging UK earthquake was in the Colchester area in 1884. Some 1200 buildings needed repairs, chimneys collapsed and walls were cracked.

Quaking Houses may have been originally settled by Quakers, but during the Industrial Revolution it developed into a mining village with traditional terraced houses.

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