HOUSEHOLDS across Somerset have been speaking of their shock after an earthquake measuring around 3.5 struck the county last night.

A rumble which moved furniture and woke sleeping residents was felt from Yeovil to Burnham at just before 10.50pm on Thursday.

Earthquake expert Tim Webb said the quake had its epicentre in Huntworth and registered 3.2 on the Richter scale

One Taunton resident said: "It was quite brief, but a definite tremor.

"My milk bottles rattled on the worktop and then the whole house shook, like if a lorry had passed at high speed."

Somerset farmer Robert Pryke said his sheep had received a rude awakening.

"Felt the tremor on our farm," he said.

"Our sheep were going wild and running round the field. We’ve had to go out and count them back in.

"Strange!"

And Lizzie Ridout, who lives at Durleigh, said: "Definite low rumble for several seconds around 10.50 and then it felt like something big hit the house.

"We were in bed reading, it set the dogs off barking- I didnt know what it was!"


READ MORE: Aftershocks could continue for days


Chris Godfrey thought perhaps there'd been an explosion in Woolavington.

"We felt it, we'd just got into bed and felt the whole bed shake, wife had me searching the house in case something had hit us or blown up," he said. 

Daniel Neal, of Creech St Michael, said: "It was a weird noise followed by a big shake of the house. The mirrors on the walls all vibrated and shook.

"It was like someone had driven into the house at high speed with no bang, or a low-flying fighter jet had flown over the roof really low.

"It was no longer than about a second but was hard enough to shake the whole house."

Data from the British Geological Survey shows a tremor detected in Stroud, Gloucestershire, although the organisation says the quake struck in Bridgwater, at a depth of around 5km.


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The chart from a sensor in Stroud, Gloucestershire, shows a definite incident at around 10.40pm


However, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said an earthquake measuring 3.5 in magnitude was detected approximately 24 miles south east of Taunton, which would put it in the Yeovil area.

Meanwhile, other residents reported furniture moving and 'houses shaking', with neighbours venturing into the street after the tremor to investigate what happened.

Joel Criddle, on Twitter, wrote of how the tremor affected his household in Wellington Road, Taunton.

"(I) 100% felt the walls in the house move," he said.

"We live on Wellington Road and I thought it was the cat jumping into my youngest son's bedroom!"

Sheila Hatch said she felt the tremor in Huish Episcopi.

"I've experienced similar in the USA but this one was much stronger," she said.

Ruth Cook, of Lyngford Road, Taunton, said: "I thought a vehicle had driven into our bungalow."

And spare a thought for Reg Ball's pet dog in Burnham on Sea, who was completely thrown out by the whole episode.

"At 10.50 tonight we couldn’t understand what was the matter with our dog," said Reg.

"She left her bed and came upstairs and would not return to her bed. She was extremly anxious, trying to hide in cupboards etc.

"This activity usually takes her during fireworks/thunderstorm."

But in Woolavington, Jenny Vincent's dogs managed to sleep through the whole thing.

"Decorated the Christmas tree earlier and the ground shook and the decorations wobbled," said Jenny.

"My two dogs stayed asleep though."


To give an indication of the area affected, below is a map with a circle of 24 miles around Taunton in all directions.

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Did you feel the earth move? Let us know via newsdesk@countygazette.co.uk, on Twitter @CountyGazette, or find us on Facebook.


And here are some of your reactions after we posted about the tremor on Twitter:

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