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© Mike Pennington

Second Earthquake Shakes Penicuik

Residents of Penicuik and District were rattled on Wednesday night after a small earthquake struck farmland south of Howgate.

It is a natural phenomenon that is not normally associated with the British isles however Penicuik is fast becoming the earthquake capital of the country.

Within the space of a month a second earthquake has struck farmland at Howgate, rattling residents from Milton Bridge to Penicuik to Silverburn.

At 21:57 on Wednesday 3 December a magnitude two earthquake occurred 6km below Herbertshaw Farm in Howgate. The epicentre, one kilometre from the previous magnitude 2.3 earthquake on 13 November, is located on peatland within a field just off the A6094. The village of Howgate is located between two known fault-lines and is therefore prone to earthquakes.

Shortly after the quake, concerned residents took to our Facebook page to express whether or not they had felt the earth rumble. Unlike the earlier quake, there have been widespread reports throughout the EH26 postcode. Ann Brown said:

Yes heard a noise at exactly that time, just a couple of minutes b4 the News. Thought there was someone in the back garden . My husband put the outside light on and went out to check.

Louise Foster from Milton Bridge said:

Yes [I did feel it], we’re in Milton bridge. Thought someone was slamming the doors but no noise. Very odd indeed.

Many other locals described a noise that could be likened to someone falling out of bed, or banging on a door.

In a statement on their website the British Geological Survey say:

BGS have received over a dozen reports, mainly from the Penicuik area, of this earthquake having been felt. Reports described a weak to moderate trembling and noise that sounded like rumbling or an explosion (“it sounded like there had been an explosion outside, one big thud” and “loud bang and floor and house shook and rattled”). This is the largest earthquake detected in the region since a magnitude 2.2 event on 13 November 2014 which was felt, in the Penicuik area, with a intensity of 3 EMS. There were also two magnitude 2.3 events detected on 30 November 2007 and 9 December 2007, which were also felt in the region with a similar intensity.

A seismogram from their monitoring station in Edinburgh shows the quake:


Did you feel the earthquake? Tell us below or on Facebook.