Val­ley shakes in earth­quake

Cynon Valley - - FRONT PAGE - TOM HOUGHTON tom.houghton@waleson­

CYNON Val­ley res­i­dents felt their homes “shake” as Wales was hit by its largest earth­quake in more than 30 years.

Two af­ter­shocks were also of­fi­cially recorded.

THE big­gest earth­quake in more than 30 years hit Wales at the weekend at a mag­ni­tude of 4.4, and peo­ple in the Cynon Val­ley re­ported feel­ing their homes “shake”.

The epi­cen­tre of the earth­quake, which hap­pened at 2.31pm on Satur­day, was in the vil­lage of Cwm­l­lyn­fell in Neath Port Tal­bot - just 19 miles from Hir­waun.

It was the big­gest earth­quake in more than 10 years in the UK, with the last ma­jor quake in Mar­ket Rasen, Lin­colnshire, mea­sur­ing 5.2 in mag­ni­tude and be­ing 16 times big­ger than the quake in Wales. A 5.4 quake hit Llyn on July 19 1984. It was also the big­gest earth­quake in the area af­ter the Great Swansea Quake of 1906.

And it came as quite as a sur­prise for most peo­ple.

Ann Lewis, 52, from Aber­dare, de­scribed the mo­ment neigh­bours rushed out of their homes.

She said: “I’m just a bit shook up, it was very strange.

“I was sat on the sofa watch­ing Come Dine With Me and it just shook. It didn’t in­ter­rupt the sig­nal.

“I’ve got quite a lot of glass fur­ni­ture that was not cheap, so I hope it does not hap­pen again.

“I ran out the front, I thought per­haps some­one had hit some­thing in a car.

“All the neigh­bours shot out of their homes and were say­ing, ‘What the heck was that?’ Ap­par­ently the guy up the road was in the bath and the whole bath shook.

“I’ve been here 16 years and this a big solid house and I’ve never felt any­thing like this be­fore.

“It’s my first earth­quake and I’m hop­ing there are no more.”

Twitter user Glenys wrote: “I live in Hir­waun Aber­dare and for the 1st time I have ever felt an earth­quake, the whole house shook, the walls felt as they were com­ing in on us.”

Rob Davies wrote: “Felt the whole house move here in Aber­dare,” while Lisa Mor­ris said her “house shook. Very scary”.

Moun­tain Ash Golf Course posted a photo show­ing its cham­pi­onship shield knocked over in its dis­play case.

South Wales Po­lice urged peo­ple not to phone the emer­gency ser­vices un­less they had any dam­age or in­juries to re­port, while South Wales Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice also urged res­i­dents not to call them un­less there was “struc­tural dam­age or life risk”.

Events as large as this hap­pen every three to five years, the Bri­tish Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey said, with around 3,000 events of this size hap­pen­ing in the world every year.

Two af­ter­shocks were also of­fi­cially recorded. The Bri­tish Ge­o­log­i­cal So­ci­ety said the first was at 3.09pm, with a mag­ni­tude of 1.2, and the other at 1.5 hap­pened at 4.27pm.

The Euro­pean Mediter­ranean Seis­mo­log­i­cal Cen­tre (EMSC) said 10 mil­lion peo­ple could have been af­fected by the earth­quake.

It led to panic in the UK as it was felt from Corn­wall to Black­pool, the Isle of Wight and of course, Wales.

The land­lord of a pub near to the earth­quake’s epi­cen­tre thought a lorry had gone through the build­ing.

Tracey Pritchard, 35, who runs the the Dill­wyn Arms Ho­tel in Pon­tar­dawe, said the tremors were so strong they thought their build­ing had been hit.

She said: “We thought a lorry had gone into the build­ing and we ac­tu­ally went out­side to look be­cause we’re on a cross­roads. But one of our cus­tomers went on­line and saw it was an earth­quake.

“It’s just sur­pris­ing, we’ve never had any­thing like this be­fore.”

Moun­tain ash Golf Club tro­phy cab­i­net af­ter the Earth­quake

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