Areas of Devon have been shaken by a 4.1-magnitude earthquake, experts have confirmed.

The British Geological Survey (BGS) said Westcountry residents reported their houses rocking and others have described the quake as “frightening”.

But others likened the tremor, which originated in the Bristol Channel at 13:21 today, to a “heavy truck going up the road”.

Tremors were felt in areas including Exmouth, Honiton, Exeter , Dartmoor and Taunton.

The quake was also in Bristol, Taunton, Swansea, Llanelli, Barnstable, Gloucester and the BGS said.

A spokesman said: “At this time the BGS have received several macroseismic reports from residents throughout Devon and South Wales.

“One describing ‘the house was rocking’, another described ‘lasted several seconds and it was very frightening’ and another said ‘it felt like a really heavy truck going up the road’.”

According to website, Devon has not experienced an earthquake for more than a decade. The last quake to be recorded was in Bideford 13 years ago, with a magnitude of 4.0.

Colin Taylor, who is a professor of earthquake engineering at the University of Bristol, said an event with a magnitude of 4.1 should not cause any significant damage.

"Humans are very sensitive to movement and although it might feel quite noticeable the worse you're likely to get is perhaps cracks in plaster or old masonry," he said.

"These so-called shallow events happen every now and again in the UK and is typically caused by a local fault - under stress - which moves from time to time.

"It is an intra-plate event rather than the inter-plate movement you'd see on something like the San Andreas fault in California

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