Bricks rain down but only one per­son hurt

Up to 700 homes dam­aged In­sur­ance claims ex­pected to top £15 mil­lion

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - THE DAY THE EARTH SHOOK -

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

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