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Earthquake creates alarm in Britain

People are compaling that chimneys have fallen down and large cracks in houses are seen

world Updated: Apr 28, 2007 15:25 IST

A rare moderate earthquake hit southern England on Saturday, toppling chimneys and alarming residents, authorities said.

The local emergency services said they had received "lots and lots" of calls from local people reporting that "their chimneys have fallen down (and) large cracks in people's houses."

Hendrick van Eck, 27, from Canterbury, said that the tremor, which hit at around 8:15am (0715 GMT), lasted just a few seconds.

"I then heard the sound of cracking and it was getting heavier and heavier. It felt as if someone was at the end of my bed hopping up and down," he said.

The BBC reported that electricity was off in the area following the quake.

According to the US Geological Survey, which monitors earth tremors the quake measured 4.7 on the open-ended Moment Magnitude scale, now used by US seismologists.

The epicenter of the tremor, which it said occurred at 8:18 am local time (0718 GMT), was located 25 kilometers (15 miles) south of the city of Canterbury.

The depth of the epicenter was put at 7.1 kilometers (4.4 miles).

First Published: Apr 28, 2007 14:59 IST