Friday 18 January 2019

Quake leaves locals shaken but not stirred

Anita Guidera

SCORES of people across north Donegal literally felt the earth moving in the early hours of yesterday morning when a small tremor struck.

Witnesses in an area stretching from the Inishowen peninsula westwards to Kerrykeel and Downings reported houses shaking, windows rattling and a low rumbling noise from around 2.50am yesterday morning, moments after a major earthquake struck in Norwegian territory 1,000km from the North Pole.

Experts said yesterday that the timing of the two events was too coincidental for them not to be connected.

Rathmullan couple, Martin and Anne Friel, who experienced the tremor, were among the scores of callers to contact Highland Radio yesterday.

"I felt a slight shake in the house, like a vibration. Then there was a long drawn-out rumbling noise, like thunder although I knew immediately it wasn't thunder," Martin told the Irish Independent.

"It didn't last long. The shaking lasted a second or two and the rumbling went on for 15 seconds. Then it was all over. I just knew it was an earthquake. I was concerned," he said.

At the same time, an earthquake measuring 6.2 in magnitude had struck off the Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic.

No one was hurt by the quake, and no damage had been reported in the islands.

The earthquake happened about 10km under the sea. Dr Peter Readman of the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies, which studies seismic activity, said it seemed more than a coincidence that both events should happen at the same time

"It seems unlikely that people would feel the earthquake from the mid-Atlantic ridge but there may be a connection in that it might have triggered a minor quake on a Donegal fault line," he said.

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