The day an earthquake shook the Black Country
Earthquakes are probably one of the most fearsome weapon in nature’s armoury.
While Britain thankfully doesn’t suffer from destructive tremors, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t shake.
In fact up to 300 earthquakes happen every year – including some in the West Midlands. It is just that most of them happen without anyone realising.
The latest hit Cornwall at the weekend, with one local reporting the impact was “like a juggernaut hitting the house”.
The British Geological Survey said a 2.7-magnitude tremor shook the Mount’s Bay area at 12.50am on Sunday.
That is chicken feed in comparison to the biggest recent earthquake to hit the Black Country, on September 23, 2002.
Thousands of people were said to have woken up in terror as 20 seconds of tremors rocked the Midlands.
Families fled into the streets as chimneys were shaken loose, glass shattered and walls cracked.
The epicentre of the quake, which had a force of 5.0 on the Richter scale, was at the junction of High Arcal Road and Himley Road in Himley.
But the impact was felt across the Black Country, South Staffordshire, Shropshire and even as far away as North Yorkshire, London, and Wiltshire.
West Midlands Police reported about 5,000 calls in the space of an hour after the quake, accompanied by a loud rumbling. Fire alarms were set off and people turned up at police stations in their nightclothes to ask what had happened.