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Minor earthquake recorded by people in Wester Ross village; radio team in Gairloch reported windows rattling after the 1.3 magnitude tremor, the British Geological Survey has said

By Philip Murray

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A MINOR earthquake surprised residents of a Wester Ross community this morning.

The 1.3 magnitude quake struck at Gairloch at 11.08am today.

The quake, which originated 5km below the Earth's surface, was felt by several people.

The British Geological Survey said people at the community radio station in Gairloch reported that "windows rattled" and a "microphone on a boom arm bounced up and down".

Minor quakes are not unheard of in the Highlands, many of which are the result of the crust continuing to 'bounce back' in the millennia after the end of the last ice age.

During the deep freeze, the weight of the massive ice sheets pushed the crust down and, once all that ice melted, the loss of that colossal mass enabled the crust to push back upwards – or rebound.

Some of the region's quakes are also the result of minor fault lines, like that of the one running the length of the Great Glen.

In fact, today's quake was not even the first to strike Wester Ross this month. A much smaller 0.7 magnitude quake was recorded at 10.25pm on May 8 at Poolewe.

And, just last month, at 12.07pm on April 16, Shieldaig experience a magnitude 1.6 tremor. It was recorded just 2km down and had an epicentre around 5km to the south south-east of the village.

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