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Scotland suffers THREE earthquakes in one night

Scotland suffers THREE earthquakes in one night: Quakes with 1.6 and 0.9 magnitudes hit after 3.3-strength tremor rocks Argyll and Bute

  • First earthquake today had magnitude 3.3 and hit in Argyll and Bute at 1.44am
  • Experts say two smaller tremors followed further north at 2.42am and 4.09am
  • Residents described rumbles that ‘felt like a train’ and a low rumble ‘like a lorry’ 

Scotland was hit by three earthquakes in the space of one night as residents described rumbles feeling ‘like a freight train’ running through their home.

The first earthquake, which was recorded as a 3.3 magnitude tremor, struck western Scotland early this morning, jolting worried locals out of bed.

The epicenter of the quake was close to the town of Lochgilphead in Argyll and Bute, and shaking was felt across a large area of the region at around 1.44am.

Just 58 minutes later, a 1.6 magnitude tremor was recorded at Roybridge in the Highlands.

It occurred at a depth of 7km, according to the British Geological Survey, with the tremor hitting at about 2.42am.

The BGS has confirmed a third quake hit at 4.09am this morning, again at Roybridge, with a recorded magnitude of 0.9 and also at a depth of 7km. 

Residents in Argyll and Bute described feeling the first earthquake hit and instantly recognising what it was.

Victoria Winters, 53, felt the earthquake rumble through her home ‘like a freight train’, waking her and husband John, 73.

The couple live in an isolated old stone farmhouse in a valley at Loch Fyne near Minard, Argyll and Bute.

Victoria, a management consultant and vice chairwoman of the Heart of Argyll tourism board, thinks it is particularly susceptible to tremors.

She said: ‘We were woken with a bit of a start. It sounds like a freight train appearing all of a sudden and then it starts shaking.

‘It sounds like something really big is hurtling towards you. I live in a big echo-y old stone house, so it makes quite a noise when it comes through.

‘It’s not the first time I’ve experienced one here, so I knew what it was. I can imagine if you hadn’t experienced it before then it could be quite scary.

‘I’ve felt about four in the last ten years. It lasted five or six seconds, enough to wake me up, carry on and then I could tell when it was coming through the house.

‘It came through where the bedroom is. It got louder and then the bed shook from side to side and the noise carried on and veered up the ridge.’

Mother-of-two Alison Suter, 59, lives about a 50 mile drive away in Oban and was also woken by the earthquake.

Alison, who works in a jewellery shop said: ‘I was half-asleep.

‘My bed actually rumbled but my cat was asleep at the foot of the bed and she took a terrible fright and dived in beside me.

‘It was a low rumble, it sounded like a lorry going past. It was more of a deep growl. We’ve had smaller earthquakes in the last three years or so.

‘There was one that was 2.2 on the Richter scale but this one definitely felt more violent.’


Pictured: Residents took to Twitter to report the earthquake in the early hours this morning while Kilmartin Museum took the time to have a little bit of fun about the first earthquake, joking that the shock was in fact caused by Godzilla waking up in the west of Scotland

Rosemary Neagle, who lives on a farm in Kilmartin Glen near Lochgilphead, said the noise of the tremor was so loud that she initially thought something had exploded in one of her sheds.

She told BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland programme: ‘It kept on intensifying and the house vibrated. It rumbled on for about 10 seconds afterwards, so it was quite frightening.

‘I have experienced them before here but never to that extent. The house has never shook like that in the past.’

In comparison, the largest known Scottish earthquake occurred near Loch Awe in 1880, with a magnitude of 5.2.

There are roughly 200-300 quakes in Britain every year, but the vast majority are so small that no one notices them. However between 20-30 are over 2.0 magnitude which can be felt over a wider area.

Earthquakes in Scotland are most often attributed to glacial rebound. Until about 10,500 years ago much of the north of the UK was covered by a thick layer of ice – which pushed the rocks down into the underlying mantle.

These rocks have been slowly rising back up ever since the ice melted, causing occasional earthquakes in the process.

The UK is also subject to tectonic stresses caused by the expansion of the Atlantic Ocean, which is slowly pushing the entire of Eurasia to the east, and from the northward motion of Africa, which is pushing into Europe from the south

The most damaging UK earthquake was in the Colchester area in 1884. Some 1,200 buildings needed repairs, chimneys collapsed and walls were cracked.

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