Kent earthquake
© British Geological surveyThe British Geological survey's monitoring stations showed seismic activity on Friday morning
A 4.2 magnitude earthquake has been recorded in Kent, the British Geological Survey (BGS) has said.

The tremor originated near Sandwich at a depth of 15km (9.5 miles) underground at 02:52 BST, it reported.

Residents in areas including Margate, Canterbury and Southend-on-Sea in Essex felt the tremor, with some saying they thought it was a plane crash or a bomb.

Kent Police said a number of calls had been received but no injuries or structural damage had been reported.

But Herbert Smith tweeted that he and his wife Doreen were taking refuge in their caravan after being evacuated from their damaged home in Flete.

'Massive crash'

The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC), which monitors seismic activity across the continent, also recorded the earthquake.

kent earthquake
Theresa Foord, from Eastry near Sandwhich, said: "I heard this massive crash and then the whole house started to shake.

"Plates came off the wall, doors came open - it was all very frightening.

"It seemed to go on for ages but it was about three to five seconds."

BBC South East 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.

Vikki Petts tweeted: "So we just had a 4.3 magnitude earthquake in Kent and my housemates slept through the entire thing. certainly woke me up!"

Jonathan Tapp said: "Earthquake in East Kent and now can't get back to sleep. Despite months spent in [New Zealand] this is my first one that I've felt."

Iain Buchanan, from Ramsgate, said: "So I'm not going mental, my house shook due to an earthquake in Kent of all places."

Police said they began receiving reports of the tremor in east Kent at about 02:57 BST.

Neither the force nor Kent Fire and Rescue Services had received any reports of structural damage or injuries, they said.

Hundreds of homes in Folkestone were damaged by a 4.3 magnitude tremor struck parts of Kent in 2007.

More than 70 buildings were so dangerous residents could return to them because of loose chimney stacks, tiles and masonry.