Five more earthquakes recorded in Blackpool - taking number since fracking started to 11

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Five tiny earthquakes in the space of 12 hours were recorded in Blackpool by the British Geological Survey.

The most powerful, at 1.02pm yesterday, measured 0.5 on the Richter Scale.

Lighting on the drilling rig at Preston New Road. The rig has now been removed and a new fracking rig will be erected on the site ready for the first fracking due around the start of October

Lighting on the drilling rig at Preston New Road. The rig has now been removed and a new fracking rig will be erected on the site ready for the first fracking due around the start of October

READ MORE>>> Fracking in Lancashire: When does seismic activity mean fracking has to stop? The others were at 1.26pm (0.4), 1.51pm (-0.1), 2.38pm (0.1), and 11.56pm (0.0).

It takes the number of ‘quakes recorded since fracking began last Monday to 11.

READ MORE>>> Earthquake, tremor or seismic activity: what is happening at the Lancashire fracking site?

There were none in the several months running up to Cuadrilla’s controversial operation getting underway at the fracking site off Preston New Road, Little Plumpton.

Cuadrilla said the British Geological Survey had rounded up from 0.48 – just below the 0.5 threshold imposed by the government that would see fracking halted.

It said: “This is within operating expectations and the sophisticated system of monitoring in place is working as it should.”

The company said fracking would continue today as planned, and added: “As we have said before, local residents should be reassured that the monitoring systems in place are working as they should.

“These are tiny seismic events that are detected by our monitors as we fracture the shale rock 2km underground and are many hundreds of orders of magnitude below what is capable of being felt, much less cause damage or harm at surface.”

Emeritus Professor of Geophysics, Prof David Smyth, said in a statement released through anti-fracking group Frack Free Lancashire: “While the tremors induced to date are tiny, nevertheless the traffic-light system of monitoring induced seismicity does state that if a magnitude 0.5 event, or greater, is triggered by fracking, then the injection of hydraulic fluid must stop.”

Frack Free Lancashire added: “Seismicity must be monitored closely around the clock if [fracking] is allowed to continue in spite of the cluster of tremors we have seen.”