The 2.1ML (local magnitude) event at 10.01pm on Saturday is the 92nd tremor since fracking began at the site
Environmental campaigners are calling for an immediate ban on fracking after families near Cuadrilla’s shale gas site in Lancashire reported their homes shaking from the biggest tremor yet last night.
The 2.1ML (local magnitude) event at 10.01pm on Saturday is the 92nd tremor since fracking began at Preston New Road in Little Plumpton near Blackpool less than a fortnight ago.
The BGS said the tremor had a depth of 1.2 miles and was felt by residents in surrounding areas including Blackpool, Lytham St Annes and the towns and villages of Great Plumpton, Westby, Weeton, Peel and Wesham.
Labour’s shadow environment secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey has called for fracking to be “banned immediately”, describing it as a “pathway to planetary disaster”.
Fracking operations must be halted after any tremor measuring more than 0.5 in magnitude. Cuadrilla said it had informed regulators and the integrity of the well was unaffected. Cuadrilla was not fracking at the time. Tremors that happen after operations have halted are known as trailing events.
It comes after Cuadrilla halted operations at the site after a tremor measuring 1.05ML at 11.22pm on Friday, followed by a 0.53ML tremor at 5am on Saturday.
Work also had to be halted on Wednesday after a 1.55ML tremor – at that point the largest – which Cuadrilla was accused of playing down by likening it to dropping a large bag of shopping on the floor.
Tony Bosworth, a Friends of the Earth campaigner, said: “Last night’s earthquake was the biggest on record so far at Preston New Road and close in size to the 2011 earthquake which damaged the well at Cuadrilla’s Preese Hall site.
”We don’t have to wait for yet more evidence to show that the industry can’t frack without triggering earthquakes.
“While this is rightly worrying for residents and is understandably their major concern, the key point in opposing fracking remains that it isn’t part of the future if the government wants to avoid climate breakdown. IT’s now time for this industry to end and Whitehall needs to instead back renewable energy and energy saving.”