An earth tremor shook the South East of the UK in the early hours of Friday, waking residents from Margate to Southend who initially thought a plane crash or explosion had happened.
The British Geological Survey (BGS) said it recorded a 4.2 magnitude earthquake in Kent. The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC), which monitors seismic activity across the continent, also recorded the earthquake.
The tremor originated near Sandwich at a depth of 15km (9.5 miles) underground at 02:52 BST, the BGS reported.
Kent Police said a number of calls had been received but no injuries or structural damage had been reported. But a separate report said some residents had fled their homes in fear of collapse.
BBC South East’s reporter Simon Jones, who lives in Canterbury, said he was woken up when his house started shaking. "The initial thought was perhaps something had gone into the house, like a lorry but then I turned to social media and people right across east Kent were reporting an earthquake," he said.
Hundreds of homes in Folkestone were damaged by a 4.3 magnitude tremor which shook parts of Kent in 2007. More than 70 buildings were so dangerous residents could not return to them because of loose chimney stacks, tiles and masonry.
The biggest earthquake in recent history happened in February 2008 when a magnitude 5.2 tremor struck the town of Market Rasen in Lincolnshire.