People in Teesside were this morning rattled awake when an earthquake struck in the early hours. The tremor struck just before 6am and was so powerful that one sleeping woman thought a tree had fallen on her house while another believed there had been an explosion.

Emergency crews were quick to reassure people that it was just a minor quake which the British Geological Survey said measured 2.8 on the Richter scale. The epicentre is said to be Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, but people across the region reported feeling the tremor.

Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk

Residents in Middlesborough, Hartlepool, Redcar and Norton also reported hearing a low rumble, with many saying their lights started flickering.

Cleveland Police and Fire Brigade confirmed the quake struck at 5.58am. Police and fire crews rushed to a property in Cleveland following reports from a resident fearing there had been an ‘explosion’.

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.’ However, she said what they had actually felt was the tremor and there was no explosion. Many took to Twitter in disbelief, with many saying the tremor felt so strong it woke them up.

Image: MetroUK

One said: ‘My whole house just shook, bad enough to wake us up near Middlesborough, very scary 5.58am #earthquake’. But in true Teesside humour, after finding out the quake was nothing to worry about, many have taken the opportunity to crack a few jokes. One said: ‘For anyone visiting Teesside for the first time today following the earthquake, expecting a scene of destruction and desolation, I can assure you it always looks like that’. Another wrote: ‘Don’t worry Teessiders …. Big Fat Julie just fell out of bed. #earthquakejoke #earthquake #Teesside #middlesbrough #tremor’.

Source: MetroUK