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Quarry blast now believed to have been responsible for Gairloch 'quake' reports

By Hector MacKenzie

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A QUARRY blast in a Wester Ross community is believed to have been responsible for tremors interpreted by seismologists yesterday as a possible minor earthquake.

The British Geological Survey (BGS), which charts earthquakes around the country using a network of sophisticated equipment, had yesterday flagged the 11.08am incident – which prompted several so-called "felt" reports from people in the Gairloch area – as a minor quake event.

That status has now been updated to include the comment "possible quarry" following later reports there had been a blast in the area at that time.

A BGS spokesperson said today: “BGS has confirmed reports of seismic activity at Gairloch at around 11.08am on Friday,May 22. This is based on activity recorded by local seismometers and ‘felt reports’ received from the local community.

"However, we are aware that information received from various local sources indicates that this event could be linked to possible activity at a local quarry. BGS is awaiting information from the quarry to confirm this and the report,which can be found on our website, has been updated to reflect this.”

Seismologists were unable to make contact with the quarry to clarify but said they would update their website accordingly if that was officially confirmed.

One local source said the quarry had indeed confirmed there had been a blast at that time.

The report can be found on the BGS website here.

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