Houses shook and windows shudder as the region was hit by its first earthquake.
Residents as far as Horsham and Crawley complained of shaking homes on Easter Sunday (April 1) after a 2.7 magnitude earthquake hit the Surrey and Sussex border.
The epicentre of the quake was recorded 2.3km away from Newdigate in Surrey but homes 30km away were affected.
David Galloway, seismologist at the British Geological Survey, said the earthquake was the first recorded in Surrey and many residents may have experienced a ‘once in a lifetime event’.
He said: “We had about 96 reports from people generally from the RH5-RH6 area.
“Most common reports we have had the whole house shook, the windows shuddered and ‘we thought it was a lorry crashing into the house’. We also had reports saying ‘is something happening at the airport?’
“It could be a once in a lifetime thing but we’re not in the area of predicting them so there could be one next week.”
The quake occurred just after 12.10pm.
Surrey Police said it had received multiple reports from residents in the Charlwood and Newdigate areas complaining of a ‘loud boom’.
On social media people living in Beare Green and Rusper also said they felt the tremors.
“It’s the largest in that general area (South of England) since 1985 in a place called Fleet in Hampshire,” Mr Galloway said.
“This is the first earthquake for Surrey we have on our database.”
Mr Galloway said there had been just 25 earthquakes recorded in the South of England since 1750.
The biggest record in the UK was a 6.1 magnitude quake off the coast in East Anglia.