Small earthquake in Bicknacre felt in parts of Essex


The quake struck below the Essex village of Bicknacre in the early hours of Thursday.

An earthquake felt in parts of Essex in the early hours of Thursday has been confirmed by the British Geological Survey (BGS).

The survey said the magnitude 2.6 quake struck at Bicknacre, south-east of Chelmsford, at around 05:05 GMT and at a depth of about 8 km (4.9 miles).

It was reported by people from Bicknacre, Runwell and South Woodham Ferrers.

One told the BGS that “it was like a subway train going under our bungalow.”

Others told the group that they were “awakened by a loud bang and bang” and that the quake “felt like a large piece of furniture fell over.”

Bicknacre earthquake seismogram

The Essex earthquake was recorded at BGS seismic stations in Norfolk, Suffolk, Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

David Galloway, a seismologist at BGS, said the organization received about 50 notifications from people who heard or felt the quake.

Many of the reports came from people “about 15 km (9 miles) from the epicenter,” he said.

“Not everyone will have contacted us, but I would classify this as a small to medium quake as it was widely felt.”

He said the survey records around 250 earthquakes in the UK each year, “but most go undetected”.

“But we live on a dynamic planet, and movement causes stress on Earth’s plates.”

To put the Bicknacre earthquake in context, Galloway said it was “63,000,000 times smaller in terms of energy release” than the quake that struck southern Turkey and northern Syria on Monday.

Part of the British Geological Survey earthquake table

The British Geological Survey lists every earthquake recorded in the UK on its website

But the Bicknacre earthquake had an impact on a number of Essex residents.

About four miles south of the epicenter, Darren Draper heard the earthquake at South Woodham Ferrers.

“Just after 05:00 there was a very loud explosion, but I didn’t really feel any tremor or anything,” he told BBC Essex.

“It was very strange.

“My son also shot out of bed and we looked at each other, thinking ‘what was that?’ – I thought they were robbing us.

“There were a few other neighbors on the street, so we all heard it.”

David Mountain, who lives in Sandon, about four miles northwest of Bicknacre, was also awakened by the noise.

“It was a huge explosion, and it was like someone had broken our patio doors, it was a huge explosion,” he said.

He described the experience as “very strange, very loud.”

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