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The quake district; SMALL TREMOR SHAKES LAKES.. CAUSES RIPPLE.

Byline: LAURA ARMSTRONG

AS earthquakes go, it was more of a whimper than a bang.

In fact, one witness thought at first that "someone large had fallen over in the room above".

Nevertheless, a quake measuring 3.7 on the Richter scale hit the Lake District yesterday, causing... well, a few ripples, but no damage - apart from to residents' nerves.

Plant pots were shaken and several items fell off shelves, but fire and rescue crews didn't need to be called.

Centred on Ulverston, Cumbria, the mild tremor was felt at Barrow, Kendal, Windermere and as far south as Blackpool and Lytham St Annes, Lancs.

The British Geological Survey confirmed it hit three miles south-east of Ulverston and five miles underground at 11.22am.

Dr Aoife O'Mongain said: "A quake of this magnitude is unlikely to cause any substantial damage." This was confirmed by police, who said they'd had 10 calls, adding: "There are no reports of any casualties or injuries or damages."

A spokesman for South Lakeland District Council said staff had felt a rumbling in their offices but nothing moved.

John Davies, the council's emergency planning officer, added: "We've had people talking about plant pots being shaken and things dropping off shelves, but as far as we are aware there is no damage."

Andy Casson, owner of the Sweet Stall in Ulverston Market Hall, spoke of how "no one panicked or ran around screaming".

He said: "It was a heavy rumbling sound, like a wagon revving up, which lasted about 15 seconds. There was also a slight vibration. Business just went on as usual afterwards."

Hugh Rushton, owner of the Grange Hotel in Grange-over-Sands, said: "I actually thought someone large had fallen over in the room above. It was that kind of sound. There doesn't appear to have been any damage."

Also in Grange-over- Sands, Frank McCall said: "I went outside and noticed neighbours were also on their doorsteps looking a bit bewildered.

"There hasn't been any damage that I can see but it was quite frightening."

The biggest earthquake to hit Britain for nearly 25 years was in Market Rasen, Lincs, in February last year and measured 5.2 on the Richter scale. In south Cumbria, the last recorded quake was in Grange-over- Sands in 1993, which only reached magnitude 3.

There are 200-300 earthquakes in Britain every year but most are so small no one notices them. A quake of yesterday's strength occurs roughly once every year.

CAPTION(S):

SPIKE Seismograph chart of quake TROUBLED WATERS Can you spot a ripple?
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 29, 2009
Words:424
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