April 19 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Music concerts in Hyde Park are causing earthquake-like tremors in houses up to a kilometre away, say reports.
Residents in one Edgware Road housing block reported their properties shaking during the gigs with one woman even running out of her flat in fear.
Westminster Council has confirmed it is in talks with the British Geological Survey (BGS) to use its seismometers to investigate this summer.
Andrew Alchin, 67, of Edgware Road, says his own research has found a direct link between the timing of the tremors and the concerts.
“I have experienced a minor earthquake and this shaking is incredibly similar,” he said. “When it first happened, I didn’t relate it to the concerts because I can’t hear them from where I live.
“But last summer, I kept a very detailed diary which showed minor disturbance and vibrations at the same time as the concerts.
“The vibrations can’t be doing the building any good and that raises concerns about the value of properties.”
An email to Mr Alchin from Westminster Council environmental health officer Phil McIlwain confirmed: “Large numbers of people jumping up and down in a synchronised motion could be a possible explanation as to the cause of tremors felt in nearby buildings.”
He added that some buildings may be further affected by the tremors due to their height and the proximity of a car park or other open space beneath the property.
An email from BGS seismologist Glenn Ford suggests that the Edgware Road tremors could be from a “manmade source” and he points to a number of previous similar incidents.
A nine-storey apartment block was evacuated near Finsbury Park in 1992 when windows and a balcony were cracked during a Madness concert held at Finsbury Park.
Other instances of false “earthquakes” include when U2 played in Brussels in the 1980s and Madness played at Earls Court in 2010.
The BGS was even able to predict that earthquake-like tremors would be felt a kilometre away from an Oasis concert at Earls Court in 1995.
Westminster licensing chairwoman Cllr Audrey Lewis says the council is still investigating whether there is a correlation between the concerts and the reported tremors.
She added: “At the recent review of Hyde Park’s licence to hold major events, Westminster Council’s licensing sub-committee imposed several conditions on the licence to mitigate the effects of low-frequency noise, which we will monitor through the summer to ensure that these measures are effective.”