Friday 15 December 2017

Earthquake alert

Colaiste Bride students with their seismometer in Enniscorthy
Colaiste Bride students with their seismometer in Enniscorthy

Maria Pepper

Did the earth move for you last week in Wexford?.

It did for some people as a small earthquake tremor was felt in an extended area from Enniscorthy to Rosslare.

Or if the ground didn't move,at least the windows rattled and a loud rumbling was heard.

It happened at 8.46 to be precise, and while Irish seismic sensors didn't detect any activity, the incident was picked up by a number of British Geological Survey seismograms in Britain. The quake was measured at 2.2 on the Richter Scale.

Mildly alarmed residents immediately took to social media to report what they described as 'a loud bang', 'a rumble like the sound of a truck' 'a strange vibration' and a 'roar like thunder.'

People in Barntown, Glynn, Killurin, Ballymurn, Enniscorthy, Rosslare and Killinick felt the rumble which lasted a few seconds but there were no reports of damage.

Diane Goth of Killinick said it sounded like a low-flying jet.

'I ran to the children, my husband ran to the window and my brother-in-law ran outside to see what it was.'

A station in Carrickbyrne picked up no obvious movement but readings from the Welsh seismograph showed a tremor of 'low magnitude'.

Tom Blake of the Irish National Seismic Network said there was most likely a minor tremor in the Irish sea.

'On first look, a minor event happened off the east coast.'

Mr. Blake said such events are common in Ireland but the reason they appear to be more frequent is that people are now reporting them on social media networks.

He said the biggest earthquake recorded in Ireland was on July 19, 1984 off the east coast which registered 5.4 on the Richter Scale and caused minor structural damage in the south east.

Alan O'Reilly who operates the Carlow Weather website giving forecasts in the south-east, was contacted by a colleague based outside Wexford town who reported a small tremor to him.

Mr. O' Reilly said he detected a 'very small blip' on a sensor recording off the west coast of Wales.

He described it as 'fairly weak'.

It appears that the 'earthquake' was felt strongest in County Wexford.

New Ross Standard

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