A major 4.4-magnitude earthquake shook buildings across western parts of Britain, with people from Cornwall to Blackpool reporting a strong tremor that damaged buildings, knocked objects off walls and caused lights to flicker.
Terrified Britons told of violent shaking, objects falling off shelves or walls, and furniture moving when the UK’s strongest quake in a decade struck just after 2.30pm near Swansea in South Wales.Several buildings in Bristol were damaged, Swansea University was evacuated and people ran into the streets in fear, as the tremor was compared to everything from a “massive explosion” to a car crash.
The earthquake was felt by as many as 10 million Brits as far away as 200 miles from the epicentre in Cwmllynfell, and it was the strongest in South Wales in more than 100 years.There was confusion and panic in the immediate aftermath, as many Britons weren’t sure what they were experiencing as their homes were rattled by the tremor.Actor Michael Sheen’s father, Meyrick, who lives in Baglan, Wales said he had never experienced anything like it before.He told WalesOnline: “We have lived here for 40 years and we have never experienced anything like this before, it felt like a massive explosion under ground.
“The walls shook, the lights flashed and the pictures were shaking. It was frightening.”Tracey Pritchard, 35, who runs the The Dillwyn Arms Hotel in Pontardawe said the quake was so strong she thought the building had been hit by a lorry.She said: “We thought a lorry had gone into the building and we actually went outside to look because we’re on a cross roads.
“I thought maybe I was crazy but as soon as it happened people said they felt it too.”Alison Morgan, who works at Uplands Newsagents in Swansea, said: “My colleague noticed it first and wine bottles in the shop were shaking and a tile fell off the ceiling.”I thought it was a lorry going past but it was an earth tremor.”It was a significant feeling that went on for about two seconds – I was moving from left to right suddenly despite being stood on the same spot.
“The last one I experienced was in the 1980s when I lived in Pembrokeshire.”Ann Lewis, 52, from Aberdare, told how people ran into the street afterwards.She said: “I’m just a bit shook up, it was very strange. I was sat on the sofa watching Come Dine With Me and it just shook.”She added: “My daughter was in bed unwell and I ran out the front, I thought perhaps someone had hit something in a car.
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