The largest earthquake in the British Isles, recorded with modern instruments, hit 6.1 on the Richter Scale and happened in 1931.
Fortunately, the epicentre of the earthquake (that’s the point on the earth’s surface directly above where the earthquake actually started) was 60 miles off the coast, in a shallow area of the North Sea known as Dogger Bank.
Nevertheless, the damage at places on the east coast of England was still up to level 7 on Mercalli’s scale, with chimneys collapsing and other damage to buildings.
The shaking triggered a cliff collapse at Flamborough Head
The earthquake also generated a small tsunami wave, which although bigger than the other waves that were being experienced on the coastline that day, was not big enough to cause destruction.
So, Britain does experience earthquakes, and their associated phenomena, but on a much smaller scale than the world’s worst. Some of them are due to the collapse of old mine workings. We’ll round off this series next week with a look at a modern man-made earthquake trigger.