3.9 magnitude quake strikes south of Portsmouth

An earthquake registering 3.9 on the Richter scale struck the centre of the English Channel this morning.

The British Geological Survey (BGS) has called the quake the biggest to hit that 16-mile region in nearly 300 years.

The Daily Mail reported that one worker in Shoreham said the blast felt like a ‘big lorry had gone by in a hurry’.

He said: ‘The office wobbled slightly, the building shook, monitors on the table rattled and the roof creaked a bit. It lasted about two to three seconds.’

David Kerridge from the BGS said the earthquake’s epicentre was 53 miles south-east of Portsmouth, where the Channel is more than six miles deep.

Mr Kerridge said: ‘This is the largest earthquake within 25 km (16 miles) since a magnitude 4.5 event in 1734.

‘In the UK we experience a earthquake of this magnitude approximately every two years.’

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