How Rare Is An Earthquake In UK After One In Wales Last Night?
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How Rare Is An Earthquake In UK After One In Wales Last Night?

Jasmyne Jeffery February 25, 2023

After hundreds reported being awoken to their house shaking in South Wales last night, it was confirmed that there had been an earthquake. With ones you can feel being quite unusual in the country, people are now wondering how rare a UK earthquake is and how often they happen.

Hundreds of people took to Twitter last night ( February 24) to confirm their suspicions that there had been a shudder in South Wales. Not a feeling many are used to in the United Kingdom, people were confused by the occurrence. Now their suspicions have been confirmed, it’s raised the question of how often it happens.

Hundreds Feel Earthquake in South Wales Last Night

Of course, the first thing you do when something unusual happens is head to Twitter to see if it’s happened to anyone else. That’s exactly what happened last night when those living in Wales felt their houses shake and didn’t know what to make of it.

However, others (myself included!) slept through the entire thing!

Some are pretty gutted to have missed out!

With many having not experienced it before, the small quake felt like someone had shaken beds, confusing some.

The earthquake is reported to have been 3.2 magnitude and 2km deep, with an epicentre eight miles north of Rhondda Valley. However, many across South Wales felt the small tremor that didn’t leave any damage. It definitely isn’t anything compared to those that have devastated Syria And Turkey in the last few weeks.

How Rare Is An Earthquake In The UK?

Though an earthquake of that size (though still small), doesn’t happen particularly often, very small tremors happen on a weekly basis.

Looking to the British Geological Survey, larger earthquakes of 5.0 magnitude or more occur every 8 years or so on the mainland, so fairly rare. However, the smaller the tremor the more often it happens.

An earthquake the size that was felt last night happens between 2-3 years. However, tremors measuring 2.0 magnitude or less happen over twice a week in the UK.

Of course, ones that small wouldn’t be felt by the public. It isn’t until you get to the size we had last night that they are really noticeable. That being said, it’s still a baffling fact that they aren’t very rare in the UK. Earthquakes occur even more frequently in the North Sea, with quakes measuring 4.0 and higher happening once a year. If you include them as well, then the actual amount of earthquakes in the UK each year is between 200 and 300!

The biggest earthquake felt in the UK was all the way back in 1931. The epicentre was approximately 100km offshore from Great Yarmouth and affected the whole of the UK. It was also felt by a lot of countries in mainland Europe. The tremor was 6.1 magnitude, making it the largest in the UK in history.

You can take a look at the more significant earthquakes felt in the UK here. Cast your mind back and remember if you felt any of them!

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Jasmyne Jeffery is a full-time Entertainment and News Writer on university-themed website Freshered and HITC, and joined the company having previously worked in a freelance role. She attended the University of South Wales where she was also a student blogger and graduated in 2022 with a first-class honours degree in English and Creative Writing. Now, she puts her creativity to use reviewing university bars, Love Island episodes and the latest apps any 18-25-year-old is using.