Earthquake Shakes Southern England

Fifty houses are so badly damaged after the biggest earthquake to rock Britain in five years that families won’t return to them for at least another 24 hours – after thorough structural checks have been carried out.

“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.”
óMat 24:7

Householders as far afield as East Sussex, Essex and Suffolk said they felt the tremor, which measured 4.3 on the Richter scale and disrupted power supplies in southern England.

The British Geological Survey placed the epicentre of the quake 7.5 miles off the Dover coast.

Walls cracked and chimneys toppled onto buildings and pavements in at least four streets in Folkestone.

A 30-year-old woman was taken to hospital with minor head and neck injuries.

Kent deputy chief fire officer Bill Feeley told Sky News: “Miraculously, we’ve had no more injuries than that.”

Kent Fire and Rescue Service was inundated with more than 200 emergency calls.

The incident is the largest recorded in Britain since an earthquake rocked Dudley in the West Midlands in 2002.

Kent Chief Superintendent Alasdair Hope warned people to “be vigilant” and report any suspected gas leaks or structural damage.

Dangerous property emergency number: 01303 853 566/853 567.

Local energy supplier EDF Energy reported that thousands of its customers had lost power. Supplies were later restored in the Folkestone and Dover areas.

Eurostar said the quake had not affected services across the Channel.

Residents said, when they heard the initial bang, they feared an explosion at the Dungeness nuclear power facility.

Bill Byrne, 47, from Folkestone, said: “There was a big rumble and roar at about 8.15am – the noise that was coming from my roof felt like it had caved in.

“We all came out and looked around to inspect the roof and other people’s roofs and at that point saw the destruction.”

Jeff Stack, from Shepway District Council, told Sky News that building engineers will be checking properties in affected areas for structural damage for the next few days.

“We have about 50 properties where people are still in a position where they cannot re-occupy their homes. It is quite a significant operation,” he said.

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