Valley shakes in earthquake
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