Earth tremor felt in north Donegal

 

AN EARTHQUAKE measuring 1.6 on the Richter scale struck Donegal on Thursday night.

The minor tremor struck at 7.30pm, with the epicentre located at Bridgend in the south of the Inishowen peninsula, the School of Cosmic Physics at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies confirmed yesterday.

The tremor was felt in Bridgend and Buncrana in Inishowen and westwards across Lough Swilly in the Fanad peninsula.

A number of people fled their homes in the village of Kerrykeel, fearing the worst before they realised the threat had passed.

Shop assistant Teresa Gillespie (26) was with her parents at their home in Desertegney, 9km from Buncrana, when they were disturbed by what sounded like “a really loud rattle of thunder”.

“It was a big rattle and it lasted a couple of minutes. It started in one place and seemed to roll along Lough Swilly,” Ms Gillespie said. She said they knew it couldn’t be thunder because there was no lightning and the night was clear.

Dr Thomas Blake of the School of Cosmic Physics said a number of people in Donegal had already filled in an online questionnaire on the institute’s website outlining details of the incident.

He said Donegal was one of the counties most at risk of earthquakes in Ireland due to several fault-lines extending from Scotland to north Donegal. Thursday evening’s tremor was picked up by all the seismic recording stations in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

“North Donegal and from Wexford across the Irish Sea are the areas most likely to be associated with earthquakes in Ireland,” Dr Blake added.

Anyone who experienced this week’s tremor is invited to fill in the questionnaire on the institute’s website www.dias.ie.