A magnitude 2.8 earthquake hit the West Midlands late Monday evening, the British Geological Survey (BGS) said.
According to the BGS, the quake hit the town of Walsall, near Birmingham, at a depth of seven kilometers (4.35 miles) at 10:59 p.m.
The service said the quake’s effects were felt within a 20km radius of its epicentre, with tremors being detected by residents of Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Dudley.
Affected residents told the BGS the quake shook their homes, while one person said “it was like a cabinet falling or an explosion against the window”.
The BGS said the quake was about 13km (eight miles) east of the 4.7 magnitude Dudley quake, which was felt across most of England when it struck. struck on September 22, 2002.
Hundreds of earthquakes strike the UK every year, but most are so small that no one without monitoring equipment would even notice.
The largest earthquake on record was 6.1 magnitude and hit Dogger Bank in the North Sea on June 7, 1931.
The first ever recorded death from an earthquake in the UK occurred on April 6, 1580 when a magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck the Strait of Dover.
Its effects began to be felt in London around six o’clock in the evening of April 6, 1580, the Wednesday of Easter week.
The structure of the Channel Tunnel was based on the power of this earthquake – designed to withstand another tremor just as strong.
English writer Thomas Churchyard said the quake could be felt across London and into the suburbs as “a wonderful movement and earthquake” shook London and “churches, palaces, houses and other buildings shook and shook so much, that such while then present in the same were driven back and forth while standing, and others, while sitting upon seats, driven from their places.”
On the English coast, sections of wall fell at Dover and a landslide opened up a rough new piece of the White Cliffs. In Sandwich, a loud noise emanated from the English Channel, as the arches of the church cracked and the gable end of a transept fell at St Peter’s Church. Near Hythe, Kent, Saltwood Castle was rendered uninhabitable until it was repaired in the 19th century.
In London, half a dozen chimneys and a pinnacle on Westminster Abbey fell; two children were killed by rocks falling from the roof of Christ’s Church Hospital. Many Puritans blamed the then-emerging theater scene in London, seen as the work of the devil, as the cause of the earthquake. There was damage far inland in Cambridgeshire, where stones fell from Ely Cathedral. Part of Stratford Castle in Essex has collapsed.
In Scotland, a local report of the earthquake disturbed the teenage James VI, who was told it was the work of the devil.
There were aftershocks. Before dawn the following morning, between 4 and 5 a.m., more houses collapsed near Dover due to aftershocks, and a series of new aftershocks were noticed in east Kent on 1 and 2 May.
Other powerful earthquakes included the 1984 Lyn Peninsula earthquake (magnitude 5.4) which was felt across the UK from its epicenter in Gwynedd, Wales. It was the greatest terrestrial quale since the beginning of instrumental recording.
An earthquake in Caernarfon in 1852 was felt in Dublin, Belfast, Carlisle and Cheltenham.
Another 5.3 earthquake in Derby in 1957 was felt across the country.
One of the most devastating earthquakes of the 20th century occurred in Swansea on June 27, 1906.
More recently, the 2008 England earthquake was felt across England and Wales from its heart in Market Rasen.
Buildings are said to have collapsed after an earthquake in Swansea in 1755.
More recently, two earthquakes were felt in Blackpool in 2011, linked to fracking nearby.