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Rasen the Dead

Roger being filmed in front of the seismogram of the earthquake in the Earth Sciences building. Photo: Gary Keech

What does a seismologist do after a late night earthquake in Market Rasen? Roger Clark from the Leeds University Institute of Geophysics and Tectonics recounts his earthshaking day.

Geoscientist Online 11 March 2007

"I was shaken awake ,having gone to bed minutes before - realised it was an earthquake and cheered. My daughter yelled from her room, asking what was going on. I replied "Earthquake - enjoy. It's what puts food on the table!"

"Found wardrobe doors swung open, drawers open... lights on all round neighbours. I walked the house to check for damage, but didn't find any.

"Then I attempted to get to sleep but the phone calls started at 0230 - newsdesks wanting information. I wimped out of ... GMTV's requests for a 0500 interview in their studios - tricky as a single parent to head out of the house in the early hours.

"At work I sorted the main facts before starting a 3-hour teaching slot at 9; but in the coffee break found so many calls and emails from media that - with agreement of students (!) - cancelled classes to start working on medial.

"Graham Stuart fed the messages to me while I worked through them. He agreed to make a PowerPoint of it all. Much local stuff with the Yorkshire Post, radio stations in Leeds and York, and both BBC and ITV news crews. Amusing to see them both turn up at once - they all know each other of course.

"The live interview on Radio York was funny but sad - hearing stories of folks getting seriously scared, being shaken off the road while driving and going through a fence ...

"I had to dip out of the 6pm live slot on Look North due to 'dad's taxi' obligations but Tim Wright and Bill Murphy agreed readily to do it.  We spent a while predicting questions etc. and it seemed to go well. Seems to me that we have a duty to talk to the public through the media about these events so I'm glad to do it all. My diary's trashed though... ."

"The data in the image of the seismogram below come from the British Geological Survey seismic station at Holmfirth. Full information on the earthquake and after effects is available from the British Geological Survey Seismology pages.

Earthquake hits Lincs

Data courtesy British Geological Survey seismic station at Holmfirth.

Reproduced with permission from The University of Leeds School of Earth and Environment website