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Thursday 18 September 2014

More aftershocks expected from Earthquake in Irish Sea

Treacy Hogan

Published 29/05/2013 | 11:44

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Area affected by the quake. Photo: British Geological Survey
Seismogram of the quake. Photo: Geological Survey of Ireland

MORE tremors are expected in the wake of the Earthquake which struck in the Irish sea this morning.

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The earthquakes was felt along the east coast of the country.

Further tremors are likely in the coming days, according to the Irish National Seismic Network (INSN).

A 3.8 magnituate earthquake struck this morning at 4. 16 am with an epicentre located approximately 2 km off the coast off the Llŷn Peninsula in Wales and 97 km southeast of Dublin.

The quake was measured at a depth of 8km and was followed four minutes later by a smaller 1.7 magnitude tremor at a shallower depth of 3km.

Moderate shaking was felt in Carlow, Kildare, Wicklow, Wexford and Dublin, according to the seismic agency.

Seismic stations as far away as Valentia, Donegal and Galway  also recorded the earthquake.

The earthquake location is approximately 15 km west of the magnitude 5.4 earthquake that occurred on the Llŷn peninsula on July 19,1984.

The latter quake was the largest ever recorded earthquake on mainland Britain and was felt throughout Ireland's east coast, Wales and England.

Aftershocks from that quake measured up to 4.3 on the Richter scale and some structural damage resulted along the east coast of Ireland at the time.

INSN Director Tom Blake from the School of Cosmic Physics in the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) said there has been a significant increase in seismic activity in the area in recent months and that further minor earthquakes are likely.

He suggested however, that today’s earthquake was moderate enough to have relieved any pressure built up in the region and that it was unlikely to be a precursor to a stronger earthquake.

Mr Blake added: “A 2.3 magnitude earthquake struck this very same area on February 7 and since then there have been a number of other tremors building up to this morning’s event.

“ In fact, the past two months have seen a concentration of tremor activity right down the west coast of Britain with the most recent (2.9 magnitude) tremor occurring in Acharacle, Highland in Scotland on May 18.

“It is unlikely that the magnitude of today’s earthquake will be exceeded in the Irish Sea in the coming days but aftershocks can be expected in the hours and days ahead, although many will be too weak to be felt.”

“ We would ask people in Ireland or Wales who may have felt this morning’s earthquake to submit felt reports to us online at www.dias.ie.”

Recent earthquakes in Ireland included:

* A magnitude 2.7 earthquake was recorded off the northwest coast of Ireland on November 21t last.

* On June 6th 2012, a magnitude 4.0 earthquake was recorded off the coast of County Mayo, close to the Corrib gas field.  The quake happened at 9am, 60km west of Aughleam near Belmullet.

* The most significant land tremor to be recorded in Ireland in recent years occurred when a 2.7 quake hit Lisdoonvarna in County Clare in May 2010.   It also was the first tremor or earthquake to be recorded in the west of Ireland in modern times.

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