London, Sep 17(ANI): A leading seismologist has warned that a potentially devastating earthquake could hit London at any time, which could endanger scores of lives and cause billions of pounds worth of damage.
Dr. Roger Musson, of the British Geological Survey, said that a sub-sea fault under the Straits of Dover that has caused two large earthquakes in the past 700 years could strike again at any time.
He said that the geological fault has already generated relatively large earthquakes in 1382 and 1580, and there is a substantial risk that a similar earthquake could occur again with severe consequences for the capital given that it rests on clay soil that is easily shaken.
"Something that has happened twice can and probably will happen three times. But whether it happens tomorrow, or in two years' time or in 20 years or 50 years, that is something we would love to know but we don't," The Independent quoted Dr. Musson, as saying.
"While the next earthquake would not be a disaster on an international scale, it will come as an unpleasant shock for a country that tends to think itself immune from earthquakes," he added.
Dr. Musson further said that the last large earthquake to affect London occurred in April 1580, which is estimated to have been a 5.5 magnitude earthquake.
"Although [the epicentre] was some distance away, London was quite strongly affected, probably because the soft Thames clays are more susceptible to being shaken. Earthquakes can happen again. This is as true in Britain as anywhere else in the world," he added. (ANI)