Earthquake hits Yorkshire Dales

An earthquake measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale has hit the North East of England

The British Geological Survey (BGS) confirmed that an earthquake had occurred and that it was centred around six miles north-west of Ripon.

The organisation's seismology project leader, Dr Brian Baptie, told Sky News: "We believe the earthquake was centred in North Yorkshire, near Ripon, round about the Yorkshire Dales region." Analysis of measuring station data indicated that the earthquake occurred at 9.03pm, measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale and at a depth of 3.8 miles.

"We get an earthquake of this size about once a year in the UK," Dr Baptie said. "We do not expect it to have caused any damage but it could have been felt up to about 100km (60 miles) away."

According to the BGS this was the largest earthquake in the Ripon area since one measuring 2.8 was detected in June 1970 in the Pennines. Monday night's tremor was, however, the second to hit England in the space of a few weeks. Last month the BGS confirmed that an earthquake of local magnitude 3.5 took place shortly before 11pm on December 21 in Coniston in the Lake District.

Sky News received dozens of reports from viewers across the north of England who felt the latest earthquake.

Lester Hurst wrote: "I felt it in Harrogate North Yorks whilst I was in the bath!! It went right through me, incredible."

Lawson Morton, in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, wrote: "My son was sitting at his computer upstairs and he saw his lava lamp shaking then his desk shook and then his chair started to shake for about three seconds.

"The shaking stopped and then he heard a noise something like a rumbling noise."

Louise Trever said: "The earthquake was felt also in Teesside area as well, I am in Stockton-on-Tees and my whole bed shook along with the pictures on my wall and shelves! Scary stuff."

Other viewers reported feeling the tremor in Cumbria, Greater Manchester and across Yorkshire.

:: The largest recorded earthquakes to have occurred in the area include one measuring 4.8 at Wensleydale in 1780, and a 3.1 tremor at Skipton in 1900.

(c) Sky News 2011