Hundreds of people in a village in Vietnam's central highlands fled their homes in panic early Monday when a suspected earthquake hit the area.

No one was hurt and scientists and authorities are studying the area to see if it was indeed an earthquake or some other phenomenon.

Residents of A Klai village in Gia Lai province's in La Pet commune said they had felt strong vibrations beneath the ground, houses had shook violently, cracks had appeared on the walls, the ground had sunk. Fissures up to 4 meters deep had opened up.

Incredibly, however, all these had been confined to a tiny area of around 50 meters with areas beyond that remaining unaffected.