An earthquake reaching a magnitude of 3.9 on the Richter scale struck the English Channel today

Reports from the British Geological Survey (BGS) indicate that an earthquake reaching 3.9 on the Richter scale hit the English Channel shortly before 8am this morning.

The epicentre of the quake was just 53 miles south of Portsmouth and it had a depth of 10km.

Though residents in West Sussex felt buildings shake early this morning, local police and coastguard services reassuringly say that their services have not been required.

This is the most powerful earthquake in the area since a quake measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale struck in 1734, according to David Kerridge of the BGS.

Small quakes are not unusual in the British Isles but only two other significantly large events have been recorded since a quake measuring 5.0 in 1878 and one measuring 4.3 in 1750.

The BGS said that in the UK we experience earthquakes of this magnitude every two years. This particular earthquake has hit right in the middle of the MBM Cruising Club’s itinerary. Thankfully the fleet is now in Guernsey, far south of the quake.