Mild tremors were felt in Jabalpur and adjoining areas in Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday morning leading to panic among the local residents, a senior official said.
"Mild tremors measuring 2.8 on Richter scale were reported from Jabalpur and surrounding areas for a few seconds at around 10.45am," said Jabalpur district collector SN Rupla. No loss of life or damage to property was reported so far, he said.
According to the Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) in Bhopal, the epicenter of the earthquake was at Shahpura, about 40km from Jabalpur.
The exact time of the quake was 10.48.52 hours and it lasted for 30 seconds, said Anupam Kashyapi, the director of RMC.
The quake was mild and the tremors were distinctly felt because the epicentre was just 5km below ground level — considered shallow depth for an earthquake, he said.
Napier Town, Aadhartaal, Vijay Nagar and Gorakhpur were among the most affected areas within the city.
Residents in Panagar, Katangi, Sehora and Majhouli tehsils near Jabalpur experienced the tremors.
Later in the day, some residents including Jabalpur mayor Prabhat Sahu reported minor cracks in their houses.
Two walls in the newly constructed house of Sahu near Damoh Naka developed hairline cracks while the parapet walls of the roof of a house in Dikshitpura also reported cracks.
"I was drinking tea when I felt the tremors. Later, I found some walls of the house slightly damaged with cracks," Sahu told media persons.
The tremors and the thundering sound left residents shaken.
Ashok Patel of Gauri village, on the outskirts of Jabalpur, said he felt the quake and ran outside his house.
Thakur Puran Singh of Chatta Mehgawa village said he sensed the jolt and also heard a noise as if an aircraft had passed just above his house.
Earthquakes cause instant panic in Jabalpur that witnessed a 6.01 magnitude quake on May 22, 1997, killing 40 people in the district.
Jabalpur falls in the earthquake-prone Narmada-Sone fault zone in central India. This area falls in seismic zone 3 - indicating moderate earthquake hazard.