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Minor Earthquake Strikes Howgate

Households throughout southern Penicuik were rattled on Thursday after a small earthquake struck Howgate.

An earthquake measuring 2.2 on the richter scale hit farmland to the south-west of The Howgate restaurant, off the A6094, on Thursday morning.

The British Geological Survey recorded the minor quake at 9:23 on Thursday 13 November, with locals reporting the tremor lasting for around thirty seconds. Occurring 3km below the surface, residents throughout Leadburn and Howgate reported feeling the tremor. Due to its magnitude and depth, some community members as far north as Kirkhill have acknowledged feeling the earthquake, with Valleyfield properties also being affected.

Whilst Earthquakes may be somewhat sporadic for the region, Penicuik does have a record of minor tremors. Thursday’s event originated from a point exactly between two known fault lines, which run from Leadburn to Loanstone and Auchendinny. In fact, on the 30 November 2011, an earthquake struck a mere one hundred metres from the most recent site. This too was minor, measuring around 2.3, but it occurred much deeper at 5.9km. Nine days later another 2.3M quake struck the A703 Leadburn junction. Since then there has only been one other minor tremor, which occurred east of Pomathorn in April 2009.

We asked you on Facebook whether you had felt the Earthquake. Jacqui Lorraine was located very close to the epicentre and noted how the band startled her dogs:

My dogs ran through from the kitchen at that time. Something had scared them. There was a crash and I couldn’t figure what it was.

Ms Lorraine later added that her neighbour thought her chimney stack had collapsed. Angela Dunbar also noted the loud grumble the quake generated:

I thought it was a very loud lorry but we’re not on the main road it lasted much longer than a vehicle passing the house then I thought it was an aeroplane flying really low

Many other residents throughout the south of the district reported hearing rattling or banging at the time, putting it down to either traffic or animals.

The Seismogram from the Edinburgh monitoring station showing the Earthquake © BGS

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