The largest earthquake to hit the UK for a decade has struck in Wales and been felt as far away as Birmingham, the British Geological Survey (BGS) has confirmed.

The tremor's epicentre was around 20km north, north east of Swansea and it had a magnitude of 4.4.

The quake's hypocentre, the point where the shift actually happened, was said to have been around 8km under the surface of the earth.

The BGS said earthquakes of this magnitude happen around once every two to three years.

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A spokesman for the BGS said: "It was a reasonably sized earthquake. This earthquake has been felt across a large area of Wales and England with the furthest reports so far from Birmingham and Devon.


"This is the largest earthquake in mainland UK since the 5.2 magnitude Market Rasen earthquake in 2008."

There have been no reports of serious damage with many people taking to social media to ask if others had felt the minor quake.

Tom Haden felt the quake while cook at his home in Redcliffe, in the centre of Bristol, and initially thought it was building works.

The 27-year-old software engineer told the Telegraph: "I was cooking in the apartment here and just felt the floor shake, few things shaking and swaying in here; [it] lasted all of about 10 seconds.

"I wasn't sure what it was at first as it's not usual for the UK, and we have demolition work down the road so I thought it could be that.

"It's only when I tweeted that others then mentioned the same thing that it became apparent it was a quake."

Ashleigh Lewis, an 18-year-old university student living in Bath, also felt the tremor. She said: "I was just in my flat, the bed started shaking. I thought it was my neighbour downstairs, but when I looked the entire room was shaking, was so strange."

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The largest known British earthquake occurred in 1931 near the Dogger Bank, a large sandbank the North Sea off the east coast of England, with a magnitude of 6.1.

Despite being 100km from the coast it was powerful enough to cause minor damage to buildings near the coast.

The most serious earthquake to happen in the UK hit the Colchester area in 1884 and damaged more than 1000 buildings, collapsing chimneys and cracking walls open.