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Ireland's Biggest Earthquake in Years Strikes Near Corrib Gas Field

7th June 2012
Ireland's Biggest Earthquake in Years Strikes Near Corrib Gas Field

#EARTHQUAKE - The North West region experienced its biggest ever earthquake this week in an event that poses “very interesting questions for geologists”.

The magnitude 4 quake on the morning of Wednesday 6 June, which was epicentred close to the Corrib Gas Field off the coast of Co Mayo, resulted in tremors felt from Sligo to Galway and numerous reports of houses shaking, as The Irish Times reports.

Minister for Energy and Natural Resouces Pat Rabbitte said all evidence pointed to the incident being a “naturally occurring earthquake” and emphasised there was “no link” to works on the Corrib field.

Experts from the British Geological Survey said it was "not a warning of anything bigger to come".

However, Tom Blake of the Irish National Seismic Network (INSN) said that the "moderate" quake was “significant” in that it challenged existing information about seismic activity in the region.

Shell EP Ireland said the seismic survey had not started and it had “no reason to believe that this event has had any impact on the sub-sea infrastructure”.

“However, as a precautionary measure, a visual inspection of the offshore infrastructure will be carried out in the coming days,” it said.

Ireland's biggest earthquake on record was in 1984, when a magnitude 5.4 quake struck off Wales, causing some structural damage along the east coast.

Published in Coastal Notes
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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Coastal Notes Coastal Notes covers a broad spectrum of stories, events and developments in which some can be quirky and local in nature, while other stories are of national importance and are on-going, but whatever they are about, they need to be told.

Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

The topics in Coastal Notes can also be about the rare finding of sea-life creatures, a historic shipwreck lost to the passage of time and which has yet many a secret to tell. A trawler's net caught hauling more than fish but cannon balls dating to the Napoleonic era.

Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

Equally to keep an eye on the present day, with activities of existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector and those of the energy exploration industry.

In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

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