London at major risk of EARTHQUAKES after scientists discover fault lines under capital

Fault lines running under London could cause a magnitude five earthquake, scientists have warned.

Researchers from Imperial College have discovered two faults, one running under central London and another below Canary Wharf.


But fortunately there is only a one on a thousand year chance of chance of a severe tremor.

The two faults are moving at a rate of 1 or 2mm a year.

Experts say the findings have overturned the traditional view that London is geological stable.

“It now looks a modestly active, very heavily faulted, complicated area,” explained Dr Richard Ghail, a specialist in civil and environmental engineering at the university.

“It’s probably gone from the simplest to most complex geology in the UK.”

He said the likelihood of an earthquake is “enough to be scary but not fundamentally a problem”.

The tremor would be similar to standing on platform between two trains.

However, there is also a slim chance of magnitude six earthquake, which could cause structural damage.

The radar findings are being used to draw up seismic guidelines for new and renovated buildings in London, which will be designed to withstand magnitude 6.5 tremors.

A map showing where earthquakes have occurred in the UK and the size of each one (Image: Wales Online)

Researchers also found that London and the southeast is rising at a rate of 1-2mm a year as the country is squeezed by tectonic forces.

An earthquake has not struck the capital since the 1700s.

In 2008 Market Rasen was struck by biggest the earthquake in 25 years - measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale - with tremors felt up and down the country.

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