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4.4-magnitude earthquake rattles South Wales

by Chelsea Bailey /

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A 4.4-magnitude earthquake shook South Wales Saturday, rattling buildings and startling residents throughout the coastal towns where quakes are uncommon.

The epicenter was located a few miles north of the town of Swansea, Wales, according to the British Geological Survey (BGS), but tremors could be felt across south Wales and the southwest of England.

It was the strongest recorded earthquake in the area for more than 100 years, the BGS said. So far, no injuries have been reported.

Tyler Mears, who lives 30 miles north of the quake's epicenter in Rhondda, South Wales, said when her house began to shake she initially thought of many causes, but it didn't occur to her that it could be an earthquake.

A street in Brynmill, Swansea, UK.Panoramio

"We live right by a mountain, so at first I thought a car had come down the mountain and crashed into the side of the house," Mears said.

She quickly took to social media, where she said her friends throughout the country said they felt the quake, too.

"We all kind of looked at each other in disbelief," she said. "We have rain and thunderstorms, but never an earthquake."

Although small earthquakes in the United Kingdom are not uncommon, the British Geological Survey said historically quakes above a 5-point magnitude on the Richter scale occur about every decade.

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