Quake shakes up Channel Islands

Andover Advertiser: An earthquake has struck Jersey and Guernsey An earthquake has struck Jersey and Guernsey

The biggest earthquake in Jersey and Guernsey on the Channel Islands for almost 90 years has struck, with a magnitude of 4.2.

Windows rattled and an odd rumble sound was noted as the quake struck at a depth of seven miles (12km) around 12 miles (20km) west of St Helier at 12.54pm.

The British Geological Survey (BGS) said it was the largest earthquake to have hit the region since a 5.6-magnitude quake on February 17, 1927.

A spokesman for the BGS said it was also felt weakly on the South Coast of England, but only caused "very minor" damage.

One local thought a plane had crashed nearby, while another reported that the impact was enough to make them jump and go outside.

The BGS spokesman said: "Small earthquakes do occur in this region from time to time. It is not unusual for earthquakes like this to be followed by aftershocks.

"We get an earthquake of magnitude 4 to 4.9 roughly every two years." Up to 300 earthquakes are detected in the UK by the BGS annually.

Tony Pallot, of the Jersey Met Office, felt the effect of the quake, and said: "It's the biggest earthquake for the past 90 to 100 years.

"We are based at Jersey Airport on the first floor of arrivals, and we suddenly heard this quite loud rumble, crashing-type sound.

"Then strangely the same sequence of sounds happened again for a second time. It was a complete double of the sound we had just heard.

"I think there was some disturbance of the building, but we were more pre-occupied with what we were hearing.

"We all looked at each other and said, 'What was that?' We thought that it was probably an earthquake, but weren't sure at that point."

Tim Phillips, general manager of the Club Hotel and Spa in St Helier, was in a meeting with up to 30 people when the earthquake struck.

He said: "The building shook for about 20 seconds. It wasn't violent, but it was enough to make everyone question what was happening.

"It felt longer than a big lorry going past. We have checked the building since then but we cannot see any damage."

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