According to the British Geological Survey (BGS), a 3.8 magnitude Earthquake struck the North Sea just 100 miles off the coast of North Yorkshire.
The earthquake struck only 150 miles east of the seaside town of Scarborough at 6.52pm on Tuesday. BGS reported a tremor of 3.9 magnitude in Glaisdale about 10 miles east of Whitby. However, there have been no reports of the earthquake being felt by people on land.
The epicenter of the earthquake was measured to be around 11 miles deep and only 30 miles away from the epicenter of the largest recent earthquake to hit the UK at magnitude 6.1 in 1931.
According to the BGS, hundreds of earthquakes that are too weak to be felt by humans are detected in Britain each year. Earthquakes of magnitude 4 hit Britain on an average of every 2 years.
Most earthquakes in the UK take place on the Western side of the island, most often in the North Sea. According to the BGS, the “driving forces” for the earthquake activity in that region is unclear. However, the movement of the tectonic plates and uplift resulting from the melting of ice sheets are certainly a factor.
In 2011, a 3.6 magnitude earthquake hit North Yorkshire. According to the BBC, tremors were felt in Bingley and Skipton, near Leeds. People had reported doors, windows and heavy furniture rattling from the quake.
In May 2015, a 4.2 magnitude earthquake had struck Kent in the middle of the night, marking the largest earthquake in Britain in the last seven years.
The most damaging earthquake reported in the UK was the one in 1884, which hit the Colchester area. It had a 6.1 magnitude on the Richter scale and around 1,200 buildings were damaged, after tremors collapsed chimneys and cracked walls.