photo by J.A. Alcaide (Flickr CC)

And you just thought you lived over a tube line.

The threat of earthquakes in London is far greater than previously estimated, according to the British Geological Survey.

Though not exactly an earthquake hotspot, the southeast of England should be more prepared for seismic activity that could cause damage to buildings.

Back in 1931 a 6.1 magnitude quake occurred of the coast of Yorkshire, but was powerful enough to knock the head off of a wax figure in Madame Tussauds in London. In 1580 two people died and many buildings were damaged due to tremors originating on the Dover Strait.

The size of London in terms of population is about 50 times more today than it was then. So if two people were killed in London in 1580, you can imagine for yourself what sort of scaling up that could mean for a contemporary earthquake of the same size

–Dr Roger Musson, British Geological Survey

In December 2008, while living in Malmö, Sweden, I was shaken from my blissful slumber by what I thought must have been a bus hitting my apartment building. It turns out it was an earthquake measuring between 4.5-5 on the Richter scale.

Don’t expect London Bridge to be falling down anytime, however.

Read more about the risks of quakes in London in the following article from BBC News:

Quakes are ‘an issue for London’