Minor earthquake felt in Southern England, United Kingdom

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Update 9:51 UTC
Some felt reports for this earthquake (you can find all reports below this article):

  • Leighton Buzzard – Was mid-way between Light and Moderate shaking – we thought there was an explosion, the whole house shook and windows rattled. This would have definitely woken me up. There was no damage though that we know of
  • Milton Keynes – One very noticeable lurch in the building, followed by 2-3 seconds of shaking. Felt on the first floor of a three story building (floors 0-2). Approx 09:50 British Summer Time.
  • Aylesbury – Only lasted a few seconds but watched the TV next to me bounce around along with 2 monitors in front of me.
  • Leighton Buzzard – Felt like two strong thumps, within about 5 secs of each other. Like a truck had driven into the side of the house.
  • Luton – Shaking woke me up from my sleep, could hear my dressing table mirror hitting the wall back and forth for a few seconds. Husband said tv was banging on the wall as well in the other room
  • Wendover, Buckinghamshire – Felt the whole house shift like it had been shunted by something. Then a light tremor. Lasted about 3 seconds.
  • Dunstable – I was in my upstairs home office. Shaking lasted maybe 3 seconds and was enough to wobble my Lego displays on shelves but not topple them.

Thank you to all people who sent us their reports!

Update 9:27 UTC
The British Geological Survey now has published earthquake information. According to their analysis, the quake reached Magnitude 3.3 while the epicenter was located between Luton and Milton Keynes.

Minor earthquake felt in Southern England, United Kingdom

Minor earthquake felt in Southern England, United Kingdom

Update 9:22 UTC
Many felt reports from the epicentral area came in, describing a moderate shaking (up to intensity IV). However, so far no reports from London or Reading have been received, contradicting the calculation below. This indicates that the epicenter of the quake is probably located further north with some slightly lower magnitude.

A small earthquake has shaken parts of England on Tuesday. According to preliminary automatic solutions from France, the epicenter of this quake was located north-west of London near Aylesbury (Buckinghamshire). However, these data might change after manual revision. No locations from the British Geological Survey, who usually have the best seismic network for exact solutions, are available yet.

The quake was felt in many towns near the epicenter as far as Reading, Oxford, Luton and maybe even in some parts of London, according to preliminary calculations basing on data from Straßburg.
More information soon…

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 3.8

Local Time (conversion only below land) : Unknown

GMT/UTC Time : 2020-09-08 08:45:30

Depth (Hypocenter) : 10 km

Depth and Magnitude updates in the list below.

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Minor earthquake felt in Southern England, United Kingdom


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I felt the shaking *
Country where you felt the earthquake *
City/Village where you felt the earthquake *
Street or suburb (area) where you felt the earthquake
Shaking Strength *
MMI II (Very weak shaking) ?

People :
Felt by persons at rest, on upper floors or favorably placed.
MMI III (Weak shaking) ?

People :
Felt indoors; hanging objects may swing, vibration similar to passing of light trucks, duration may be estimated, may not be recognized as an earthquake.
MMI IV (Light shaking) ?

People :
Generally noticed indoors but not outside. Light sleepers may be awakened. Vibration may be likened to the passing of heavy traffic, or to the jolt of a heavy object falling or striking the building.
Fittings :
Doors and windows rattle. Glassware and crockery rattle. Liquids in open vessels may be slightly disturbed. Standing motorcars may rock.
Structures :
Walls and frames of buildings, and partitions and suspended ceilings in commercial buildings, may be heard to creak.
MMI V (Moderate shaking) ?

People :
Generally felt outside, and by almost everyone indoors. Most sleepers awakened. A few people alarmed.
Fittings :
Small unstable objects are displaced or upset. Some glassware and crockery may be broken. Hanging pictures knock against the wall. Open doors may swing. Cupboard doors secured by magnetic catches may open. Pendulum clocks stop, start, or change rate.
Structures :
Some large display windows cracked. A few earthenware toilet fixtures cracked.
MMI VI (Strong shaking) ?

People Felt by all. People and animals alarmed. Many run outside. Difficulty experienced in walking steadily.
Fittings :
Objects fall from shelves. Pictures fall from walls. Some furniture moved on smooth floors, some unsecured free-standing fireplaces moved. Glassware and crockery broken. Very unstable furniture overturned. Small church and school bells ring. Appliances move on bench or table tops. Filing cabinets or “easy glide” drawers may open (or shut).
Structures :
Slight damage to buildings with low standard. Some stucco or cement plaster falls. Large display windows broken. Damage to a few weak domestic chimneys, some may fall.
Environment :
Trees and bushes shake, or are heard to rustle. Loose material may be dislodged from sloping ground, e.g. existing slides, talus slopes, shingle slides.
MMI VII (Very strong shaking) ?

General alarm. Difficulty experienced in standing. Noticed by motorcar drivers who may stop.
Fittings :
Large bells ring. Furniture moves on smooth floors, may move on carpeted floors. Substantial damage to fragile contents of buildings.
Structures :
Unreinforced stone and brick walls cracked. Low standard buildings cracked with some minor masonry falls. A few instances of damage to buildings of ordinary workmanship. Unbraced parapets, unbraced brick gables, and architectural ornaments fall. Roofing tiles, especially ridge tiles may be dislodged. Many unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, often falling from roof-line. Water tanks Type I burst. A few instances of damage to brick veneers and plaster or cement-based linings. Unrestrained water cylinders (hot-water cylinders) may move and leak. Some common windows cracked. Suspended ceilings damaged.
Environment :
Water made turbid by stirred up mud. Small slides such as falls of sand and gravel banks, and small rock-falls from steep slopes and cuttings. Instances of settlement of unconsolidated or wet, or weak soils. Some fine cracks appear in sloping ground. A few instances of liquefaction (i.e. small water and sand ejections).
MMI VIII (Severe shaking) ?

People Alarm may approach panic. Steering of motorcars greatly affected. Structures : Low standard buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. ordinary workmanship buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged in some cases. A few instances of damage to buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes. Monuments and pre-1976 elevated tanks and factory stacks twisted or brought down. Some pre-1965 infill masonry panels damaged. A few post-1980 brick veneers damaged. Decayed timber piles of houses damaged. Houses not secured to foundations may move. Most unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, some below roof-line, many brought down. Environment : Cracks appear on steep slopes and in wet ground. Small to moderate slides in roadside cuttings and unsupported excavations. Small water and sand ejections and localized lateral spreading adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
MMI IX (Violent shaking) ?

Structures Many low standard buildings destroyed. Ordinary workmanship buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes damaged in some cases, some with flexible frames seriously damaged. Damage or permanent distortion to some buildings and bridges, designed and built to normal use standards. Houses not secured to foundations shifted off. Brick veneers fall and expose frames. Environment : Cracking of ground conspicuous. Landsliding general on steep slopes. Liquefaction effects intensified and more widespread, with large lateral spreading and flow sliding adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
Tell us your experience and how many seconds the shaking lasted + let us know if your property has been damaged (even slight damage). (max. 500 characters)
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Minor earthquake felt in Southern England, United Kingdom