Sussex earthquakes: Two more hit Gatwick region

The area has seen a cluster of earthquakes
The area has seen a cluster of earthquakes

Two more earthquakes hit Sussex this morning - making a total of six quakes to have struck the region this month.

Yesterday thousands of people were left shocked when an earthquake rocked houses across Crawley, Gatwick and Horsham, as well as Surrey, during the early hours.

However, this morning’s quakes were minor tremors. The first struck at 5.37am and measured a magnitude of 0.3. It was followed two minutes later by another tremor measuring 0.1.

Yesterday’s earthquake - measuring 3.1 - was felt by people across the Surrey and Sussex district when it struck at 3.42am. Houses shook and people reported hearing a ‘thunderous noise.’

But experts say that the quakes are nothing to worry about - and they have dismissed fears that they could be connected with drilling for oil north of Gatwick.

Seismologist Glenn Ford of the British Geological Survey, which monitors earthquakes around the world, said: “I can understand why they are concerning people who haven’t experienced them before - they can be very alarming, especially if they occur in the middle of the night, but there is nothing to worry about.”

He said earthquakes were common throughout the UK but that most of them went unnoticed. “What is unusual about the one yesterday is that it was felt by people,” he said. “Only 10 per cent of earthquakes in the UK are actually felt by people. Most go unnoticed.”

He said there had been an earthquake in Scaynes Hill last year, one in Billingshurst in 2005, and one in East Grinstead in 1996.

Yesterday’s earthquake was the fourth in the region since February 14 and follows seven earthquakes recorded in the same area over a four-month period last year.

But seismologist Glenn Ford said that the main reason the earthquakes were being noticed was because new monitoring equipment had been installed around Newdigate last year.

And, he said, there was ‘no direct corellation’ with oil drilling at Horse Hill north of Gatwick Airport.