Small quake shakes northwest England

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A small earthquake shook northwest England on Tuesday, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, the US Geological Survey said.

The magnitude 3.5 quake struck about 55 kilometres (34 miles) south of the town of Carlise at around 11:00 pm (2300 GMT), geologists said.

Witnesses reported feeling its effects across the north of England and southern Scotland.

People close to the epicentre said they thought there had been an explosion during the tremor, which was reported to have lasted for more than a minute.

"I was watching TV and there was this sort of really loud rumble. Then the entire building shook," said Alan Robertson, who runs a hotel in the area.

"I ran out of the front door, only to be confronted by my guests running out of their part of the house. We couldn't believe it."

He added: "If I lived in a city, I would have assumed it was an explosion."

The fire and rescue service said they had no call-outs from the public and did not believe buildings had been damaged.

© 2010 AFP

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