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Second earthquake in less than a week hits Bedfordshire town

Written by on 14 September 2020

A second earthquake in the space of a week has hit a Bedfordshire town.

A 2.1 magnitude tremor was felt in Leighton Buzzard at 11.20pm on Sunday night, according to the British Geological Survey (BGS).

It’s thought to have been an aftershock from the magnitude 3.5 quake that was felt on 8 September.

A BGS spokesman said: “The most recent event was over 100 times smaller than the event on September 8 in the same area.

“The occurrence of smaller events from other previous UK earthquakes is not unknown.

“The small event that occurred in Bedfordshire last night could have occurred because all the stress in the rocks was not relieved by the event on September 8 in the same area or it caused a slight change to the stress regime in that location.

“There is constant ongoing research in the academic world on the issue of aftershock occurrence.”

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During the previous quake, residents described strong shaking and rattling walls, though police said no injuries were reported.

Usha Chapman, from Luton, said the quake “lasted for five seconds”, adding: “I was on a video call with my mum when I felt a sideways push. The door rattled and the TV fixed to the wall also rattled.”

8 September: Moment earthquake hit southern England

It caused the BGS to receive reports suggesting the earthquake was like a “large explosion”, while others said they felt their houses shaking.

After Sunday’s quake, the BGS tweeted: “One report describes ‘It felt slower and less intense than the previous tremor’.”

Rich Wilkinson-Iles tweeted: “What is going on??? Just woken by another earth quake in Leighton Buzzard!”

Small earthquakes are not uncommon in the UK, but are rarely felt in the Bedfordshire area.