Households shaken and stirred as earthquake is felt across county
This was the moment a seismometer at Leicester University registered an earthquake which hit Leicestershire early yesterday morning.
The tremor, which hit the county at about 5.20am, centred two miles north-west of Loughborough and measured 2.9 on the Richter scale.
The British Geological Survey said it was felt within a 18-mile radius, with reports from residents in Anstey, Groby, Syston and Coalville.
Richard England, professor of geophysics at the University of Leicester, said most 'quakes in the UK went unnoticed.
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"It's a fairly minor earthquake, but significant enough that people felt it," he said.
"It woke me up in Leicester, but all I felt was something like a train passing.
"I'm not too far from one of the railway lines so I didn't think about an earthquake until I heard it on the radio, much to my embarrassment!"
Mum Lisa Rimmer, of Groby, slept through it, but was told about by her husband.
The 44-year-old said her husband, Des, had woken up and the house was shaking.
Another Mercury reader, from Anstey, e-mailed to say she had felt the quake.
"My husband said I had imagined it, but I heard a loud rumbling sound and the bed and wardrobe shook," she said.
"It was quite frightening."
Another reader said: "I was suddenly woken up by my bed shaking. I thought I was having a heart attack, then I thought my house was going to crumble!''
British Geological Survey seismologist David Galloway said the earthquake had caused buildings to shake, but no serious damage was expected.
"It was a fairly small earthquake in world terms and moderate in UK terms, but it would have been quite alarming for people who have never felt an earthquake before," he said. "A lot of people across Leicester, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire felt it.
"Some were woken from their sleep. We've had reports of houses shaking and windows rattling,"
Mr Galloway said. "Earth is made up of different plates and they're all moving about and crashing into each other, roughly at the rate that fingernails grow. We're in the middle of a plate, not the edge, so we don't get the big earthquakes like they do in places such as Japan and California, but every now and then we'll get a little effort."