This article was adapted from BBC News.

IELTS Practice reading test

IELTS free reading practice material

On 27th February 2008, something very unusual happened in the UK; there was a rather large earthquake.

It was the biggest earthquake in 25 years in the UK. There have been very small tremors in the past but they pale into insignificance compared to this one. It was felt in a large area across the country too, from as far north as Edinburgh in Scotland to as far south as Plymouth on the south coast of England. The epicentre of the earthquake was in a small town in Lincolnshire, which is an area about two and a half to three hours north of London by car. A magnitude of 5.2 was registered on the Richter scale.

There were lots of reports in the news from people who felt the earth move. One man said, “We had loads of vibrating and wall shaking and stuff, noise coming off the roof. I came outside – the chimney‘s on the floor!” A collapsed chimney was the cause of what was probably the worst injury from the earthquake; a man broke his pelvis when the chimney fell on him.

Another man who spoke to the BBC described the moment the earthquake occurred, “Everything was shaking. As soon as it happened we all went outside and saw everyone else down the street, coming out and just realised it was an earthquake.”

The huge rumble that was felt by a lot of people, surprisingly caused very little structural damage to property.

Most British people would be surprised to learn that there are 200-300 earthquakes in Britain every year – but most of them are so small, they go unnoticed. The magnitude of this earthquake is fairly small in comparison to some other natural disasters that have made international news, but for the people affected, it certainly came as quite a surprise.


  1. There were big earthquakes in Britain all the time. 

  2. The former earthquakes were felt in all regions of the country. 

  3. The epicentre of the earthquake was in London. 

  4. The earthquake didn’t cause lots of damage to properties. 

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Also, notice the marked words and phrases. Where can you use them in your essay or at least now you know their meaning.

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