London Could Be Hit By Major Earthquakes

Scientists from Imperial College have discovered two fault lines running under Central London and the financial district of Canary Wharf. These fault lines, found to be moving between 1-2 mm a year, could cause a magnitude 5 earthquake.

The likelihood of an earthquake is ‘enough to be scary but not fundamentally a problem’, Dr Richard Ghail, a specialist in civil and environmental engineering at the Imperial College, London, told the Telegraph.

A view of Canary Wharf from the Greenwich Park, London
A view of Canary Wharf from the Greenwich Park

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake would feel like standing between two trains, on a railway platform – the Mirror noted. That’s enough to  lightly shake London, but might not be enough to bring down buildings. However, a magnitude 6.0 tremor could seriously damage building structures.

The discovery these two fault lines underneath London is a big news as geologists had previously believed the city was built on geologically stable surface. Now the city will need to draft new guidelines for buildings in London to survive an earthquake of up to 6.5 magnitude.

The strongest quake ever recorded in the region was a 6.1 magnitude earthquake in 1931. It was underneath Dogger Bank which is far from any inhabited land.


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