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Cornwall Feels the Earth Move

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10:53am 19th October 2012
(Updated 10:53am 19th October 2012)

Has an earthquake hit Cornwall?

Listeners have flooded Pirate FM's Facebook page with reports of tremors on Thursday afternoon, stretching from Illogan to Looe.

Tracey says her doors rattled in St Dennis.

Elaine from Callington says it felt like the sonic boom they used to get when Concorde flew over.

Sue Painter lives in Seaton: "We only live in a bungalow, a little wooden bungalow but I have a cabinet on the wall that's got some china. All of a sudden, it wasn't a bang, but just like everything shook. About a minute later it happened again and then the whole place seemed to shake."

The British Geological Survey has released this statement:

"On the afternoon of 18 October 2012, from around 16:45 BST, the BGS began to receive information from the police in Newton Abbott and one resident in Cornwall, who reported that they felt what they had thought to have been an earthquake at sometime around 16:15 BST. Reports described a loud bang and windows and doors trembling.

"Data from the BGS seismic networks in the region were examined and a signal consistent with a possible sonic origin was recorded at 15:15:56s UTC on station CCA (Carnmenellis, Cornwall). The reports received were also consistent with historical observations received for previous events with a sonic origin.  RAF Henlow were contacted and advised that there were no military jets on exercise in the area at the time.

"A sonic boom is the sound associated with the shock waves created when an object, such as an aircraft, breaks the sound barrier. An aircraft travelling slower than the speed of sound (~760 mph) creates a series of audible pressure waves that spread out in front and behind it. These waves travel at the speed of sound. As the speed of the aircraft increases these waves get closer together and at the speed of sound they merge into a single shock wave that starts at the nose and ends at the tail of the aircraft.

"The boom is created by the sudden increase in pressure at the nose and also as the pressure returns to normal at the tail as the aircraft passes. This can lead to a distinctive "double boom". The shock wave or boom continues to be generated for as long as the aircraft is supersonic, which is why they are typically observed along a long strip along the flight path of the aircraft."

10:53am 19th October 2012

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