UK should brace for a new Earthquake Swarm

Written by IainB

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

image for UK should brace for a new Earthquake Swarm
Taking a picture with a shakey camera simulates the eathquake that damaged nothing

During the late nineties the UK was rocked repeatedly by earthquakes measuring up to four on the Richter scale, leading to the creation of the new term "Earthquake Swarm". Back then, the earthquakes were centred on a previously unknown fault under Salford, Manchester and lasted for just under a month.

"There was significant damage to Manchester," said Richard Turvey of the Seismology department, Manchester, founded 1998. "And significant improvement to Salford."

As the UK has long been believed to be earthquake proof due to geological stability and seismological ignorance, which means that building regulations have never included earthquake proofing. There was a brief discussion after the Salford Fault was located, but as the worst that this fault could do was flatten Salford, the building regulations were not altered.

Now another fault has been discovered, this time under Rotherham. As with the Salford Fault, the Rotherham Fault was only discovered when it shook houses as far away as Whitehaven.

"I were proper petrified," said the oldest person we could find in Whitehaven, great-great-grandmother, Elsie Horeiff, 47. "It rattled me false teeth."

This is the second time that the fault has shaken Yorkshire in the past couple of weeks, and Turvey believes that this is the start of another Earthquake Swarm.

"The government can no longer put their head in the sand," said Turvey. "Partley due to liquefaction making it unsafe to do so, but also because the UK is obviously riddled with faults. The building regulations should be changed, and houses retro-fitted with earthquake proofing."

The Home Office issued a statement: "Until faults are found that affect nice areas, such as Sussex and Kent where our houses are, the building regulations will remain free of earthquake references. Currently the only known faults can only improve the UK as a whole."

Sandy Dreus of the Californian Institute for Really Big Earthquakes had this to say: "3.4 on the Richter Scale? Are you sure somebody didn't fart?"

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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