fracking blackpool
© PA
Blackpool and the surrounding areas have been hit by a tremor that was big enough to wake people up
Multiple Twitter users have been reporting the quake, which they said occurred at 8.30am, with unconfirmed reports suggesting a magnitude of 2.9.

One said: "Just felt serious earthquake in Marton, Blackpool, about 08.30 hrs.

"The bed and house shook for a couple of seconds. Never experienced anything like that before."

Another added: "8:31 this morning. Bed and wardrobe literally shaking.

"Many reports of earthquake from friends in wide area covering Ansdell, St Annes, Central Blackpool, Kirkham, Staining."

quakes blackpool
© GETTY
A BGS chart shows confirms the 2.9 magnitude
A third said: "Here in Lytham, the whole house shook and there was a colossal bang. Surely they must abandon this folly soon?"

Prior to the latest activity, a tremor measuring 2.1 magnitude was registered last night at 11.01pm yesterday at the site of energy firm Caudrilla in Preston Hall Road.

Quakes measuring 1.55 on Wednesday, and another measuring 1.01 have also been reported.

Cuadrilla only resumed fracking at the site on August 15.

After Wednesday's tremor, the company paused fracking at the Preston New Road site in Lancashire, northwest England.

Cuadrilla repeatedly had to stop operations last year under Britain's traffic light regulation system, which immediately suspends work if seismic activity of magnitude 0.5 or above is detected.

Fracking, or hydraulically fracturing, involves extracting gas from rocks by breaking them up with water and chemicals at high pressure.

Following last night's 2.1 tremor, a company spokesman said: "We can confirm that a micro seismic event measuring 2.1ML (local magnitude) on the Richter scale occured at Preston New Road. This lasted for around 1 second and resulted in ground motion less than 1.5 mm/s. Hydraulic fracturing was not taking place at the time."

The spokeswoman said all relevant regulators had been informed.

She added: "Minor ground movements of this level are to be expected. Whilst this event has been felt by people on our site and some local households, it is well below anything that can cause harm or damage to anyone or their property."

Hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, involves a high-pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals being pumped deep into the ground to release gas or oil trapped in shale rock.

There is also significant evidence suggesting it also triggers microearthquakes with a magnitude of less than 2.


Speaking last year, Retired engineer and energy consultant John Busby told Express.co.uk: "As in the US, it is the injection of the untreated wastewater into the wells which has caused earthquakes above magnitude 5, which has caused damage to buildings.

"These are also currently prohibited in the EU and need a regulatory agency like the Environmental Protection Agency in the US to locate suitable porous rocks and to test their containment security and classify them for different wastes.

"The maximum earthquake experienced from the actual fracking is 3.6 (in the US)."

The website of the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said the quake had had an epicentre five miles south east of Blackpool, and had measured 2.9 in magnitude, with the British Geological Society confirming the measurement.

Express.co.uk has contacted Cuadrilla for a further update.

Meanwhile the BGS's website actually crashed as a result of the sheer volume of traffic in the wake of last night's tremor.

Express.co.uk has also contacted BGS for more information about seismic activity in the region.