Mayo earthquake surprises geologists

Posted on June 7, 2012

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A LEADING seismologist has said yesterday’s earthquake off the west coast was “unexpected” and poses “very interesting questions for geologists”.

The earthquake, which registered a magnitude of four on the Richter scale, was recorded as 60km west of Belmullet, Co Mayo, at a depth of 3km, at 8.58am. It was the largest local seismic event ever recorded, according to Tom Blake of the Irish National Seismic Network (INSN) and the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies.

It was also the second-largest local earthquake on record in either Britain or Ireland, he said – the first being of 5.4 magnitude on July 19th, 1984, off the west coast of Wales and felt in Waterford and Wicklow.

A 2.7 magnitude tremor was recorded in Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare, in May 2010.

The Irish Coast Guard recorded instances of structural damage to houses in Erris, Co Mayo, yesterday and the British Geological Survey said the impact was felt in Galway, Mayo and Sligo.

Irish Times

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