BUILDINGS across Swindon shook this afternoon as the area was hit by an earth tremor just after 2.30pm.

Vibrations were felt in the Advertiser building in Old Town and as far afield as Bristol, up into the Cotswolds and over the border in South Wales.

The British Geological Survey said it was the biggest onshore event of its kind in the UK in 10 years.

“Event epicentre approx 20km NNE of Swansea, with 4.4 magnitude at a depth of 7.4km,” it said.

Wiltshire Police said they were taking calls from concerned members of the public.

South Wales Police tweeted: “There has been a minor earthquake throughout South need for you to contact the Emergency Services unless you have something to report ie:- injuries or damage. Hope this sets your minds at rest.”

According to the BGS around 3,000 tremors of a similar size happen in the world every year. In February 2008 a 5.2 magnitude earthquake that happened at Market Rasen in Lincolnshire, was 16 times bigger than today’s event.

The March 2011 earthquake that caused a tsunami and led to the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster measured 9.1- 8 million times bigger.

The BGS in the process of analysing data and has appealed for people who had felt it to get in contact and fill in their questionnaire.

After the initial surprise, Swindonians took the incident in their stride. “To be honest, I wasn't expecting shock-waves at SN1 until later today when Matt Taylor pinges in a 30-yard free-kick #STFC,” tweeted Benjamin Wills.

“Well that was interesting being on the third floor of a building #earthquake #swindon,” wrote katec-92.

On Facebook Mary Clements joked: “Woke me from an afternoon nap lol.”