How safe are the Mersey Tunnels during an Earthquake ?


The UK experienced its strongest earthquake in 10 years last week and although it was a minor one compared to quakes around the world, many readers wondered what affect this may have on the Mersey Tunnels.

Scientists believe that tunnels are on of the safest places to be during an earthquake.

A study by Abgabian in 1985 looked at the affects on underground structures during 150 earthquake events and found that underground structures such as tunnels are safe from Earthquakes.

It found as the energy waves from a quake move outwards through looser rock and reach the surface the energy becomes more intense, causing the most amount of shaking and damage on the surface.

A well built tunnel through solid rock basically just moves with the rock around it during an earthquake, unless the tunnel is built through a fault in the rock.

If you were in a tunnel like the Birkenhead or Wallasey tunnel during an earthquake, the chances are that this would be one of the safest places to be.

It would have to take a massive Earthquake to cause any damage and there’s a good chance that no one would have noticed anything on Saturday due to the low intensity of the quake.

The UK experiences hundreds of Earthquakes each year, but they are so small they are hardly ever felt and the one like on Saturday usually happen once every 10 years.

Last Saturday the UK had its biggest earthquake since 2008 shuck the Swansea area of wales.

It measured 4.4 on the Richter scale and was felt right across Merseyside.

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