An earthquake hit the north-east of England this morning, causing fears of an explosion.
Police and firefighters received calls about an ‘explosion’ in Stockton-on-Tees at around 6am today after locals heard a ‘bang’, with some believing an asteroid had hit the area.
The British Geological Survey said the tremor had a magnitude of 3.0.
Gillian Foster, watch manager at Cleveland Fire Brigade, told Mirror Online: “We turned out to a report of a potential explosion at a bungalow.
“Neighbours were out and felt same thing – some kind of explosion.”
The watch manager said it was a ‘good intent’ report from a member of the public, although there was no explosion.
Firefighters found no signs of damage and no one was injured at the Wolviston Court property they were called to in Billingham, Stockton-on-Tees.
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Cleveland Fire Brigade was called at around 5.58am.
Cleveland Police confirmed it received around 15 calls about a ‘loud bang’.
The United States Geological Survey said there were 139 reports about the tremor, which struck 10km underground.
Resident Sophie Steel told Mirror Online: “I felt it. A loud bang and then my house shook. It was really scary I thought an asteroid had hit! There were no after tremors or anything and it lasted a couple of seconds!! It was crazy!”
Steve Thompson, from Norton, in Stockton-on-Tees, said: “It was a strong ‘clump’ like a lorry crashing into mine or a neighbour’s house.
“Then I started to see friends on Facebook experiencing the same thing. Many trying to rationalise it wondering if someone had fallen out of bed.
“Then we began to realise it had been an earthquake.”
Judith Fahey added: “This morning at 5.57am I was woken up with my bed moving and my en-suite door which was closed shook.
“I live in the Wynyard area of Billingham and I was quite startled that it woke me up.”
One resident said they felt their bead shake, before the headboard banged against the wall.
Another claimed her husband slept through the tremor, although their budgie was ‘very alert’ and ‘didn’t eat his breakfast’.
Numerous people have taken to Twitter this morning, with one person writing: “A huge bang just shook my house, next door felt it too. Has anything happened in the Stockton on tees area?”
Police Constable Chris Green tweeted: “Up at 0545, in the bathroom at 0555 when I turned my electric toothbrush on and felt the house shake & heard the dogs kick off!
“Turns out it wasn’t a surge from the toothbrush, but a 2.8 magnitude earthquake.”
Another person described it as like a “train went past my window”.
The quake is understood to have happened at 5.57am.
In 2011, Teesside homes were rattled by a tremor measured at 3.6.
The British Geological Survey said around 30 tremors are felt in the UK every year, although a few hundred smaller ones also take place.
The largest in Britain’s history measured 6.1 on the Richter scale and struck around 60 miles off the east coast of England in 1931.