February 27, 2008 / 1:40 AM / in 9 years

Earthquake shakes Britain

2 Min Read

<p>Kleber Afonso stands in his bedroom which was damaged during an earthquake, in Barnsley, February 27, 2008.Nigel Roddis</p>

LONDON (Reuters) - An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.2 shook parts of Britain on Wednesday but officials said there were no reports of anyone being killed or serious damage.

The quake struck about an hour after midnight and many people in London and other areas said they had been woken up by the tremors. Wednesday's quake was the strongest for nearly quarter of a century.

In Barnsley, a man was injured in the pelvis when a chimney collapsed and plunged through the roof of his bedroom, said an ambulance service spokeswoman. The man was taken to hospital.

"(The quake) was really bad. I was fast asleep and woke up and the room was shaking," Jemma Harrison, who lives in Manchester, told the BBC.

Soon after the quake occurred the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimated the magnitude at 4.7, but the British Geological Survey later raised the figure to 5.3 before settling on 5.2.

<p>Kleber Afonso stands in his bedroom which was damaged during an earthquake, in Barnsley, February 27, 2008.Nigel Roddis</p>

The USGS said on its Web site the quake's epicentre was 127 miles north of London and 50 miles east of Sheffield.

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"We have no reports of injuries (in London)," said a police spokesman in the capital.

Police in Lincolnshire said some people had reported minor damage to their homes.

The quake was the largest to hit Britain since one with a magnitude of 5.4 in 1984.

"This is a significant earthquake for the UK and will have been widely felt across England and Wales," said seismologist Brian Baptie of the British Geological Survey.

Editing by Ralph Gowling

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