“We recorded it as a magnitude 3.8 off the coast of Umhlanga, which agrees with the reports we received of how people experienced the event,” council seismologist Michelle Grobbelaar said.

Initial readings indicated that the quake was located at a depth of 5km.

“By the time that the seismic waves reached the shore a lot of the intensity had dissipated and that is why their experience was similar to the intensity of a magnitude three earthquake inland,” she said.

The quake, which happened at 11.30am, had social media abuzz, with thousands of people reporting on websites such as Facebook and Twitter that they had felt its vibrations as far south as Margate and Richards Bay in the north, and as far inland as Pietermaritzburg.

There were no reports of any damage caused by the tremor, which lasted a few seconds.

[Source: eNCA]