Bricks rain down but only one person hurt
Up to 700 homes damaged Insurance claims expected to top £15 million
THE totally unexpected earthquake caused widespread damage in east Kent.
Emergency services headed for Folkestone after the tremor – at 8.19am on Saturday – and sealed off five streets around Black Bull Road.
Fire crews and police quickly set up camp around the Black Bull pub, near the worst damaged part of the town.
The tremor, reported by the British Geological Survey as measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale, was felt in Ashford, Hythe, Hawkinge, Dover, Deal, Canterbury, and as far away as Maidstone and others parts of the county.
But it was Folkestone where the effects were felt most profoundly. Chimney stacks crashed to the ground and windows cracked. It is estimated that as many as 700 homes in the town suffered some kind of structural damage.
First call 8.19am
Insurance claims are expected to top £15 million.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) received its first call at 8.19am.
Six appliances and a height vehicle were initially sent to Pavilion Road in Folkestone after reports of structural damage.
A specialist team from the KFRS urban search and rescue unit accompanied three appliances to Radnor Park Crescent after reports that a person was trapped under a collapsed building. It turned out to be a false alarm.
All residents were eventually accounted for, with just one casualty caused by the earthquake – a woman who suffered a cut head and neck injuries.
One appliance was sent to Penfold Road after reports of a smell of gas and similar reports of possible gas leaks continued throughout the day.
By 4pm, police confirmed that they knew of 38 houses damaged in the Folkestone area and were to survey a further 80, in conjunction with the fire brigade and Shepway district council.
Residents had to leave their homes in the Bradstone Road area
Adrian Mynard, of Albion Road, surveys the damage to his property
Firefighters check the chimneys
Rubble on the pavement in the Pavilion Road area of Folkestone
Roof damage was widespread