Scarborough earthquake 'didn't even disturb sticks of rock'

The beach at Scarborough

The beach at Scarborough

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An earthquake which struck off the coast of Scarborough has proved to be something of an anti-climax for residents of the seaside town.

The tremor was the strongest to hit the UK in more than a decade, measuring 3.9 on the Richter scale - yet staff in gift shops on the seafront claim that their classic sticks of rock were not even disturbed on the shelves.

Local tourism board Welcome to Yorkshire are keen to press home the message that the beauty of Scarborough's coastal landscape is more 'stirring' than any earth movement.

Very few residents of the North Sea coastal towns felt the quake, which occurred 100 miles offshore just before 7pm on Tuesday night. The underwhelming geological event saw a series of humorous memes depicting the town's 'plight' shared on social media.

“We have been amused by the memes that quickly appeared on Twitter following the quake, but with few people in the town actually reporting feeling the earth move, people are far more likely to be moved by the beauty of the Jurassic coastline than by the physical shifting of tectonic plates,” said Janet Deacon, area director for North Yorkshire at Welcome to Yorkshire.

“Not even the sticks of rock in the foreshore gift shops were disturbed!” she added.

The borough, which also includes Filey and Whitby, attracted 1.4million visitors last year.