Aftershocks from two earthquakes that struck in the Irish Sea may be felt for days to come, scientists said.
The Irish National Seismic Network (INSN) said the quakes, which occurred yesterday off the north west coast of England, were probably caused by stresses built up from the weight of glaciers covering land during the Ice Age.
INSN director Tom Blake said it was unusual the earthquakes – measuring 2.4 and then a stronger 3.3 on the Richter scale – happened in the Irish Sea.
“It is impossible to tell if stronger earthquakes will occur in the coming days and weeks, but aftershocks can be expected even if most, if not all, will be too weak to be felt,” Mr Blake said.
Social media users took to Twitter saying they felt the ground move beneath them – particularly in the north west of England.
The strongest quake, at a depth of 5km, was recorded by the British Geological Survey shortly before 10am, while the earlier and smaller quake was recorded at around 5.30am and was centred about 25km west of Fleetwood in Lancashire at a depth of 3km.
Mr Blake, from the School of Cosmic Physics in the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, said: “Although Britain and Ireland are far from any plate boundaries, much of the region is still experiencing quakes due to the removal of the weight of ice sheets that once covered the land.”