Small earthquake hits Britain, strongest for 10 years

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A social media posting shows people standing outside after the quake at Swansea.
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Updated 18 February 2018
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Small earthquake hits Britain, strongest for 10 years

LONDON: Britain was hit by its biggest earthquake in a decade on Saturday, the British Geological Survey (BGS) said on Saturday, with tremors felt across parts of Wales and southwest England but no notable damage reported.
The BGS said the quake was of magnitude 4.4, with an epicenter 20 km (12.5 miles) north of the Welsh city of Swansea, adding that it was the biggest quake in the Britain since 2008.
Earthquakes are not common in Britain and are rarely powerful. The 2008 quake in Market Rasen, north-east England, was magnitude 5.2 — 16 times more powerful than Saturday’s quake.
However, Saturday’s earthquake in Wales was felt as far away as Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight, over 200 km (125 miles) away.
Videos on social media showed people gathered outside Swansea University, which was holding an open day, after an apparent evacuation.
“Thank you to everyone who attended our visit day. We hoped that you had a surprisingly ‘earth moving’ experience!” Swansea University said on Twitter.


More than half of Albanians would like to emigrate

Updated 17 min 48 sec ago
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More than half of Albanians would like to emigrate

  • The country’s potential migration has grown from 44 percent in 2007 to 52 percent in 2018
  • Study shows those mulling migration now prefer Germany and the US

TIRANA: More than half of Albania’s population would like to move to richer countries with better schooling, a study showed on Friday.
The study, led by Russell King of the University of Sussex and Albanian researcher Ilir Gedeshi, found that the country’s potential migration had grown from 44 percent in 2007 to 52 percent in 2018.
Since Albania toppled communism in 1991, more than 1.4 million Albanians, nearly half the current population of the Balkan country, have emigrated mostly to neighboring Italy and Greece and less to the Britain, Germany and the United States.
The study showed economic motives were still the main factor, but less so, and that those mulling migration now prefer Germany and the US.
Some 65,000 Albanians applied for asylum in Germany in 2015-16, with most of them rejected as it began welcoming Syrians fleeing war at home. Germany has since begun welcoming doctors and nurses, almost all new graduates.
As the global and economic crisis since 2008 hit the economies of Italy and Greece, home to about one million Albanians, remittances to Albania, key to alleviating poverty, shrunk by one third and 133,544 migrants came back home.
“The unemployed, unskilled and uneducated were potential migrants earlier. Now the skilled, the educated with a job and good economic standing want to migrate,” Gedeshi told Reuters.
“We also found out economic reasons mattered less because people now want to migrate for better education. A group also wants to leave because they see no future in Albania,” he added.
Given the rising educational profile of potential migrants, the study recommended Albania sought agreements on “managed skilled migration, always bearing in mind the dangers of brain and skills drain.”
“Efforts should also be made to improve and broaden the structure of employment and business opportunities in Albania so that fewer people are pessimistic about their future in Albania and see migration as the ‘only way out’,” it added.