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Was there an earthquake in Ashford? Everything you need to know

By Charlie Harman

People have described feeling a "very deep rumble" in parts of Kent, prompting concerns an earthquake has struck the county.

Yet experts have said while seismic activity was recorded across an eight mile radius of Ashford, the chances of it being an earthquake are unlikely.

Residents from Stanhope to Charing have reported feeling the ground tremble at around 3pm today, with others reporting loud booms like a "lorry passing by on the road".

A surge of activity was detected (10289956)
A surge of activity was detected (10289956)

The British Geological Survey, which has seismological stations across the country, did record some suspicious activity but are unable to pinpoint whether it is evidence of an earthquake.

A spokesman from the national earthquake monitoring agency said that while one of the stations did show an odd reading, it was most likely human activity on the ground in a "busy area" - according to one of the seismologists on the team.

Despite this, people within an eight mile radius of Ashford are certain that they felt something.

Lulu Simmons from High Halden said: "I was cleaning my patio set off in the garden and I thought a storm was about to start. There was a very deep rumble. I only heard two lots but each one lasted about three seconds, possibly four.

Missile tests at Shoeburyness have been causing tremors across North Kent recently. Picture: QinetiQ (9873905)
Missile tests at Shoeburyness have been causing tremors across North Kent recently. Picture: QinetiQ (9873905)

"It was very strange."

Bill Newman from Bethersden said: "I was out working and basically heard about six or seven loud rumbles. I couldn't see anything or feel anything, just some loud rumbles."

Readings of seismic activity can be caused by sonic booms from jet planes and weapons testing, with tremors being felt across North Kent recently due to experimentation at the MoD's Shoeburyness base.

Kent's most powerful earthquake in recent memory was felt in 2007, which saw rubble being flung from buildings onto the streets of Folkestone.

More information and eyewitness accounts as we get them.

Read more: All the latest news from Ashford

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