‘Whole houses shake’ as earthquake hits south Wales seconds before midnight

The epicentre was about five kilometres from Merthyr Tydfil Credit: PA

Residents have described waking up in bed with their whole houses “shaking” after an earthquake struck south Wales.

Initial estimates suggest the quake, which struck just before midnight on Friday, measured between 3.8 and 4.2 magnitude on the Richter scale.

The epicentre was reportedly roughly about five kilometres (three miles) north west of Merthyr Tydfil and 12 kilometres from Abertillery.

Away from the epicentre, tremors were also felt in Cardiff and Pontypridd, and even as far away as Birmingham. The depth of the earthquake was measured at around 3.5 kilometres by the British Geological Survey.

Shallower earthquakes are felt more strongly because they are closer to the surface.

The earthquake could be felt across parts of south Wales, including in Cardiff

People were quick to post about it on social media, saying how they heard a loud bumping noise before their houses shook.

Reports described “the whole house was shaking”, “the rumbling and the bang woke me up”, “my bed seemed to move side to side”, and it “was like a large explosion”, the British Geological Survey said.

This is not the first time Wales has experienced an earthquake, although they are rare and are generally relatively weak. Friday night’s quake did not reach record levels, with the strongest tremors in Wales recorded in the 1980s.

The last earthquake of a similar strength to hit the area was in October 1999, according to earthquaketrack.com. On that occasion a magnitude of 4.5 was recorded, with the epicentre about seven miles from Glynneath.

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