Teesside shaken by 3.0-magnitude earthquake

Police say no reports of injuries as Stockton residents describe rumble and shaking

People on Teesside were woken on Thursday by a 3.0-magnitude earthquake.

The quake was recorded by the British Geological Survey and the US Geological Survey in Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, just before 6am. The BGS recorded it as 3.0 magnitude while the US monitor said it was 2.8. Cleveland police said no one was injured.


The following preliminary information is available for this earthquake:

LAT/LONG: 54.598° North / 1.308° West
DEPTH: 4.4 km

— British Geological Survey (@BritGeoSurvey) January 23, 2020

Jessie Jacobs, Labour’s candidate for Tees Valley metro mayor, said she thought her house in Stockton was being burgled.

She said: “The whole house shook and I thought someone had bashed in the door. It was that much of a noise – the whole house rattled – that I thought someone had broken in. I ran downstairs and found nothing so I took to Twitter and it turned out that we’d just had an earthquake.”

She added: “I don’t think Stockton has ever been the epicentre of an earthquake before.”

She said the earthquake felt like a good political omen after she launched her mayoral campaign on Wednesday. “I said I wanted to come into politics to shake things up,” she joked. “There doesn’t seem to any damage, so I feel safe to laugh about it. If it was above 3.0 I might be more cautious.”

Cleveland Police received 15 reports from the public regarding the reported earthquake at around 6am this morning.

Officers attended a number of addresses with colleagues from @ClevelandFB and no one was injured.

— Cleveland Police UK (@ClevelandPolice) January 23, 2020

Another Stockton resident, Lisa Matthews, who works for a housing association in Middlesbrough, said she thought her boyfriend had had an accident.

“There was a bit of a rumble and a noise then the whole room lurched. I thought something heavy had fallen over or that my boyfriend had fallen down the stairs. It was that kind of noise,” she said.

“I had no idea what it was. It only lasted a few seconds. It was only when one of my friends contacted me to say ‘did you feel that?’ that I realised what it was.”

The US Geological Survey said it had received 139 reports about the quake.

Glen Ford, a seismologist at the BGS, said: “We do have a lot of recording instruments in the area so we are reasonably confident of pinpointing the epicentre within 500 metres in Norton, Stockon-on-Tees.

“This is rare in UK terms – there are only about three a year of this size in the UK – but in world terms it’s tiny. We get about 200 earthquakes a year in the UK, but only about 10% are felt by the public. This is what makes this a bit special. This happened in a heavily populated area so it is getting a lot more interest as it disturbed quite a few people.”

Ford pointed out that north-east England experienced an earthquake of similar magnitude in September 2018 in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. “Otherwise it was the largest in the area since December 1780, when there was a 4.8 earthquake.”

He added: “You start seeing damage above 5 in magnitude. This earthquake might have knocked a few things over and some might have experienced plaster cracks.”

Others reported their experiences on social media. Lewis Ford said he thought his home was being broken into after a table fell over.

Small table downstairs flipped over about an hour ago, I’m walking about naked thinking someone’s in the house, blame the cats thinking they’ve knocked it over. Turns out it was an earthquake 🙃wtf

— Lewis (@LewisFord95) January 23, 2020

John Blenkinsopp was woken by the sound of cupboards rattling, and Nathan Stephenson said everything shook for about 10 seconds.

Blimey, I was woken by all my cupboards rattling, turns out we had an earthquake in Stockton-on-Tees! pic.twitter.com/5zEtjFtmjt

— John Blenkinsopp (@Blenky64) January 23, 2020

No way I woke up to an earthquake last night 😂😂 I was wondering why everything shook for like 10 seconds ahaha

— Nathan Stephenson (@nathan071002) January 23, 2020

Omg I felt the earthquake too, thought I was going mad. Spooked me for a while as it felt like someone on my bed 😂

— Tori (@Torboro) January 23, 2020


Matthew Weaver

The GuardianTramp

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