Earthquake - £20Million Cost - Folkestone - Kent - UK
of people are still in emergency accommodation and face having their
homes condemned following the quake that shook the foundations of
Around 70 unstable properties remain cordoned off from
the public as a major clean up operation to clear away and repair
fallen chimneystacks and masonry from dozens of homes begins.
INSURANCE experts are predicting that repairing the damage caused by Saturday's earthquake will cost millions of pounds.
The tremor, deep beneath the Dover Straits off the Romney Marsh coast, lasted only a few brief seconds, but it was felt as far away as East Sussex, Essex and even Suffolk and reports of damage were widespread. Cliff cracks at a Hampshire beauty spot are thought to have been caused by the quake.
Latest estimates suggest that between 400 and 500 buildings - mainly homes - suffered structural damage in Folkestone alone.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service had crews working throughout the weekend with safety and building experts laboured to make properties safe. Many buildings in the Black Bull area of the town have remained cordoned off. Some were too dangerous to be occupied.
There were fears that damage to some houses would prove to be so bad they would have to be demolished. Bricks, masonry and chimney pots rained down when the quake happened at 8.18am on Saturday.
About 60,000 homes and businesses lost power for about two hours. Phone services stopped, fire alarms were triggered, offices and hotels were evacuated and there were scores of reports of gas leaks.
Salvation Army and Church teams have provided temporary accommodation for the many families forced to evacuate their homes as Fire Fighters and disaster experts continue to examine the damage over a wide area of Kent.
Team Mole reporters started to get calls from residents across a wide area of Kent in England from shortly after 8.15am Saturday morning, 28th April, as the quake was happening.
The quake has caused widespread power failures, damage to chimneys and large cracks in building walls.
The initial quake measuring 4.7 on the Richter Scale was timed at 8.15am, followed a short time later by an after shock
Television stations started to get emails and telephone calls from many residents who started to fear that the Nuclear Power Station at Dungeness could have exploded but it was quickly confirmed that the shock was a severe earthquake.
Other callers have been concerned about the safety of the Channel Tunnel from Folkestone through to France...
A website for the US Geological Survey, which monitors earthquakes, said the tremor had a magnitude of 4.7.
The British Geological Survey said the tremor, which occurred at 0819 BST, had its epicentre out in the Dover Straits.
It said it was the largest quake in the UK since the one in Dudley in 2002.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service said it has dispatched fire engines in the Folkestone and Dover area, taking more than a 100 emergency calls,
ranging from issues concerning structural damage to gas smells. A
spokesman said: "We have had calls from people saying their chimneys
have fallen down, large cracks in people's houses."
The fire brigade also investigated reports of someone trapped under a collapsed building but everyone was accounted for.
Electricity and gas supplies to houses in some parts of Kent were
cut off. Scottish and Southern Energy, which supplies gas to the area,
was investigating 300 "possible gas escapes" in the system.
Homes were evacuated, power was cut and one woman needed hospital treatment when the quake hit the area.The emergency services were inundated with calls as the ground shook
and buildings were damaged..
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) reassured householders
that damage will be covered. The ABI's Nick Starling said: "These
sudden, unexpected, and unwanted events are exactly what insurance is
designed to cover."
EDF Energy, which supplies electricity to people in the Dover and
Folkestone area, said several thousand customers lost power, but it was
Police said there were no reports of serious injuries. But South
East Coast Ambulance Service said one woman in her 30s suffering from a
minor head injury and neck pain was taken to hospital. It sent five
ambulances and three officers to the Folkestone area.
The quake is the largest in Britain since an earthquake in Dudley in
2002. British Geological Survey seismologist Roger Musson said the
tremor was around 4.3 on the Richter scale, with an epicentre 7.5 miles
off the Dover coast. That meant it could be weakly perceptible as far
The epicentre of the tremor was located 15 miles (25km) south of Canterbury, according to the US Geological Survey.
The depth of the epicentre was registered at 4.4 miles (7.1km).
There have also been reports that the electricity supply is out and also that telephones are not working.
Sharon Hayles, from Stanford near the Eurotunnel
terminal at Folkestone, said her house slid from side to side for about
10 to 15 seconds.
Huge cliff crack opens at Hampshire beauty spot near a New Forest village causing fears of a major landslide.
Questions were raised about whether the crack at Barton-on-Sea, in Hampshire, had been caused by the Kent earthquake.
A row of beach huts below the cliff face had to be evacuated after the crack appeared on Saturday morning.
Expensive beach huts
It is feared the crack, which was estimated to be about 300 metres (984ft) in length by the MCA, could cause a major landslide.
An MCA spokeswoman said: "We do not know if it is linked to the earthquake but it is too coincidental to ignore.
"If the crack does get any bigger it could lead to quite
a large landslide and there are lots of very expensive beach huts
Magnitude Rating of Previous Quakes in the UK:
December 2006 - Dumfries and Galloway (magnitude 3.5)
September 2002 - Dudley, West Midlands (5.0)
October 2001 - Melton Mowbray (4.1)
September 2000 - Warwick (4.2)
April 1990 - Bishop's Castle, Shropshire (5.1)
July 1984 - Nefyn, north Wales (5.4)
June 1931 - in North Sea near Great Yarmouth (6.1)