An earthquake measuring 4.2 in magnitude has hit Kent, shaking houses and waking residents.
Police say there have been no injuries or damage to buildings after a magnitude earthquake was felt in parts of the county in the early hours of Friday morning.
Seismologists at the British Geological Survey (BGS) confirmed the tremor, which was felt in areas including Ramsgate.
The organisation tweeted: "Prelim data now online ... 4.2 magnitude earthquake nr Sandwich, Kent."
Kent Police was inundated with calls about the incident and confirmed that parts of East Kent were affected by the earthquake, which hit the county at about 2.57am.
Locals reported books being shaken from shelves and described the earthquake as feeling like a vehicle had been driven into their property.
One thought their hotel door was being kicked in, another described their house creaking, while a third said the tremor sounded like a "heavy object rolling over the roof of the house".
Earlier this month, Nepal was devastated by an earthquake measuring a huge 7.3 magnitude.
This was the second earthquake to hit the country in as many weeks, leaving thousands dead and even more struggling to cope with the horrific aftermath of the two quakes.
The BGS said earthquakes similar in size to the one that struck Kent happen around every two years in the UK and about 4,500 times a year across the world.
It tweeted: "Today's 4.2 magnitude Ramsgate earthquake is approx 260,000 times smaller than the 7.8 NepalQuake event.
"This morning's earthquake is approx 25km north-east of the 28 April 2007 Folkestone earthquake which had a magnitude of 4.3 ML."
Residents in Kent took to Twitter to express their shock at being awoken by the tremors on Friday morning, with one user describing the tremors feeling like the aftermath of an "explosion".
Something big just happened in #Ramsgate, Kent - anyone know what? Felt like a major explosion and earthquake. Turned lights on.— John Bartram (@History_Hunters) May 22, 2015
@TeeBoxGolf Sure was - I dived from bed on assumption of great danger. House shook badly. But heard no bang, just massive rumble.— John Bartram (@History_Hunters) May 22, 2015
So we just had a 4.3 magnitude earthquake in Kent and my housemates slept through the entire thing -.- certainly woke me up! #earthquake— Vikki Petts (@vikkipetts) May 22, 2015
Earthquake in East Kent and now can't get back to sleep. Despite months spent in NZ this is my first one that I've felt.— Jonathan Tapp (@JonathanTapp) May 22, 2015
Can't believe I got woken up by an earthquake at 3am this morn! Earthquake in Kent?! 😮 #weird— Chloe Chalmers (@ChloeChalmers2) May 22, 2015
Iain Buchanan, of Ramsgate, said: "So I'm not going mental, my house shook due to an earthquake in Kent of all places. Thank god for 24 hrs news & social media to find out."
He added: "Lying in bed when the house suddenly shook. Thought something had collapsed outside, so got up to check.
"I've looked outside and all appears to be fine in the street. No damage that I can see. Will obviously see more later when it's lighter. Weird experience anyway.
"I actually thought it was an explosion of some sort and not an earthquake."
Other agencies initially recorded varying measurements, including the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre, based in Paris, said the earthquake measured 4.3 on the Richter scale.
It tweeted: "M4.3 earthquake strikes 46km SE of Southend-on-Sea (United Kingdom)."
The US Geological Survey measured the quake as magnitude 4.0.
The BGS said that this morning's earthquake's epicentre was approximately 7km south of Ramsgate.
More than 800 "felt reports" were received by the British Geological Survey (BGS), mainly from residents in Ramsgate, Margate and surrounding areas.
But the BGS said reports of the earthquake were also received from as far afield as Norwich, North Walsham and Cromer in East Anglia.
Yet for many residents, Friday morning's earthquake made a fleeting impression and Twitter users took to the social network to share images of "destruction" that Kent is now facing.
Such shocking scenes include old turbulent British weather favourites, the overturned wheelie bin and uprooted patio furniture, with many captioning their tweets "we will rebuild".
"An earthquake measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale has hit Kent - causing widespread mild peril and sending patio chairs scattering."— Thomas Parker (@TomParker) May 22, 2015
Earthquake in Kent=people in Thanet suddenly realising "that was close"!— sixpence (@CoyneTom) May 22, 2015
Total devastation as earthquake hits Kent..May 22, 2015
Seem to have survived great Kent earthquake last nite. One garden chair fallen over. No other damage!— Robert Peasnell (@RobertPeasnell) May 22, 2015
Experts said it was difficult to link the earthquake to a specific fault line.
Pls give generously to the #Kent earthquake appeal. Reports that one mans patio furniture was savagely destroyed. Give what u can pls— Oliver Grisdale (@Grizzybear123) May 22, 2015
Devastation in Kent after over night earthquake. Damage estimated to be around 39p. pic.twitter.com/d98xxjTFpp— Trumpton Police (@PCTrumpton) May 22, 2015
The Kent earthquake was so strong it knocked pictures off walls. People in Nepal are recording a charity single as we speak.— Darren (@deadliftbear) May 22, 2015
David Galloway, a seismologist with the BGS, said: "The whole of the UK is criss-crossed by thousands of fault lines but most of them are at depth.
"This means we do not pinpoint a specific earthquake to a specific fault because even if a location is a few hundred metres off it could have been a completely different fault.
"Fortunately we do not live on the plate edges - for example the San Andreas fault in California can actually be seen at the surface, but the faults in the UK are blind and most earthquakes happen at a depth of between 5km and 25km.
"Earthquakes happen all over the UK - we get some 200 a year on average. One of the scale of this morning's only happen every two or three years."
In the centre of Ramsgate there was no significant sign of damage caused by the earthquake.
In the resort, locals reported being jolted from their beds in the middle of the night, including 42-year-old Muni Prasad.
He said: "We were woken up suddenly. For a few seconds the property was moving. In my daughter's room, books had fallen down.
"She came to our room and said, 'Did you feel it?' And we said we had. We are on the second floor so when a big vehicle goes by we sometimes feel it.
"But with this my wife said it felt like something different."
A spokesman for the BGS said earthquakes of this magnitude are felt in the UK every three or four years, describing it as "quite significant".
He told BBC Radio Kent: "There could be (more tremors). Not all earthquakes have aftershocks. Most of the energy could have been released in this one earthquake and the next one might not be for another three, four, five or 10 years. We can't predict."Suggest a correction