Earthquake hits parts of Sussex and Surrey

(Pic: Google)

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Another earthquake has hit Surrey, less than a week after two tremors were felt in the area.

Tremors were felt by residents in Crawley, passengers at Gatwick Airport as well as residents across Surrey and West Sussex.

The region has been struck by a series of quakes in recent months for the first time in 50 years.

An earthquake of magnitude 3.1 was recorded at 10.53am on Thursday in Newdigate at a depth of three miles (5km), the British Geological Survey (BGS) said.

There were reports "it was like two huge explosions" and of a "large impact then two to three seconds of shaking", the BGS said.

Others said it "felt much bigger than the last two recent quakes" and "it was like two huge explosions".

Matt Temple tweeted: "Just felt an earthquake at Gatwick Airport - felt whole building move and a dull banging noise."

Resident Trevor Harlock posted: "Earthquake in Surrey!! Just felt a tremor in Charlwood ... 11:55 the earth shook and glasses in our kitchen cabinets jangled together."

Jonathan Lara said: "Did anyone else just feel the ground shake? Our whole office just shook. #gatwick #earthquake"

The quake occurred in the same region as previous ones that have struck since April.

The county was hit by a magnitude of 2.4 at 6.54am in Newdigate on Friday and another in the same area at a 2.6 magnitude on June 27.

Campaigners raised concerns that fracking was the cause, claiming UK Gas and Oil (Ukog) had started flow testing at a site in Horse Hill, Horley, miles from where the earthquake was registered.

The BGS said it could not be sure of the cause of the tremors.

It said in a statement: "While it is well-known that hydrocarbon exploration and production can result in man-made or 'induced' earthquakes, such events usually result from either long-term hydrocarbon extraction, or the injection of fluids (e.g. hydraulic fracturing) during production.

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

"Although there have been no other instrumentally recorded events in the region in the last 50 years, there is evidence for historical earthquakes in the last 500 years, therefore a natural origin for these earthquakes can't be ruled out at this stage."

It added: "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.

"We use a process a bit like triangulation to locate earthquakes and our closest monitoring station was over 50km away, so the errors in our location estimates are several kilometres."

The Oil and Gas Authority previously said it is aware Ukog made an announcement about flow testing and equipment is on site but that it had not taken place at the time of the earthquake on June 29. No fracking has taken place in the area, an authority

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