Earthquake causes homes to rattle

An earthquake was felt in and around Fort William

An earthquake was felt in and around Fort William

First published in National News © by

An earthquake has caused houses in an area of the Highlands to "rattle and shake".

The 2.9-magnitude tremor was recorded just outside Fort William at around 6.30pm yesterday.

The British Geological Survey (BGS) received around 200 reports of the incident from people in the town and surrounding areas, including Spean Bridge and Kinlochleven.

It is the strongest recent earthquake felt in the area, with the islands of Arran, Jura and Islay experiencing minor tremors in the last few weeks.

A statement on the BGS website said: " The earthquake was located approximately 3km east of a magnitude 3.0 earthquake that occurred on December 10, 2005.

"Almost 200 felt reports from an automatic online questionnaire survey have been received from members of the public, almost all of them coming from within a 20km radius of the epicentre, in particular from the relatively more densely populated areas of Fort William, Spean Bridge, Kinlochleven, Ballachullish and the hamlets on the eastern shore of Loch Linnhe.

"Most people described the shaking strength of the earthquake to be moderate, with a trembling effect, and described the sound strength as moderate to loud. Many reports stated that windows rattled."

Some of the reports to the BGS described the earthquake sounding "like an explosion" and causing shaking similar to "quarry blasting". One respondent to the BGS survey said: "T he floor shook so much and you could hear the house rattle and shake around us."

Another reported that "it felt like a big explosion underneath the property which seemed to lift and drop it".

Residents took to Twitter after the quake. Peter McIntosh said: "Earth tremor in Spean Bridge and Fort William. Wow."

Teresa Kennedy tweeted: "Just had an earthquake or tremor here in Fort William. There was a big bang and the ground shuddered under my feet, Scary!!"

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