An earthquake with a magnitude of 2.9 has been recorded in Hampshire, the British Geological Survey has confirmed.
Postings on social media reported buildings in the Winchester area shaking following a tremor shortly after 18:30 GMT.
A police spokeswoman said no injuries or serious damage had been reported.
Matthew Emery, from South Wonston, near Winchester described the experience as "almost as if Concorde had flown over".
The British Geological Survey (Bgs) reported a tremor at a depth of 3km (1.9miles) at Headbourne Worthy, just north east of Winchester.
BGS Seismologist David Galloway said the UK experienced about 10 quakes of such a size each year which were "usually quite widely felt around the area".
"We live on a dynamic planet. We're actually sitting in the middle of one of the plates on the earth's crust, but because of the stresses caused by all the movement, we still get little earthquakes in the UK."
The BGS said it had received a report from a residents who said "the whole bed was visibly shaking" as well as one who said the earthquake sounded "like a bus" crashing "into the neighbours house at speed".
Hampshire Constabulary said it had initially received lots of calls from concerned residents in the Kingsworthy area following reports of something which "felt like an explosion which shook their houses".
Residents also took to social media to describe what happened.
Rowland Rees tweeted: "Quake felt in Crawley, Winchester. Whole house shook for a few seconds!"
And Jen Gupta said in a tweet: "Our house in Winchester just shook enough to rattle glasses in the cupboard, accompanied by a boom sound."
Rachel Cristofoli, in Kings Worthy, said: "Everyone felt it and came outside to see what was going on. It lasted about 5 seconds, but the houses all shook from top to bottom."
Brook Ethridge, barmaid at the South Wonston Social Club, said: "About half past six, I was sitting reading my book and all the glasses started shaking. It sounded like someone had driven into the back of the club.
"Everyone ran outside, couldn't see anything. It doesn't sound like the sort of thing that happens in a quiet little place - you just don't expect it."
IT JUST SO HAPPENS THAT ...
DRILLING licences have already been issued for possible fracking underneath huge parts of Hampshire.
Gas companies have been awarded no fewer than eight licences in the south of the county.
The new technology – formally known as hydraulic fracturing – is controversial because it involves blasting underground rock deposits with water, to release trapped pockets of gas.
The alarm has been raised over groundwater contamination and toxic air around sites. In Lancashire, fracking was blamed for causing small earthquakes.
Greenpeace, the environmental group, has mapped the areas covered by licences, using information from the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
In the south of Hampshire, they are located: * North of Southampton stretching east from North Baddesley to the A3051 at Fairthorne.
* Further north, reaching from Chilbolton west to Amport.
* Stretching west from Hinton, in the New Forest.
* From east of Fareham, stretching further east.
* East from the Hambledon area (two licences).
It is unlikely that all the sites would be fracked – even if drilling went ahead – because many have the potential to generate conventional gas instead.
The revelations came as Hampshire councillors were denied a chance to vote on a proposal to make the county a fracking-free zone.
Liberal Democrat environment spokesman Adam Carew had called for the ruling Tories to forbid fracking on council land and oppose it in all parts of the county. He said: “We know you are opposed to wind farms. I think the people of Hampshire have a right to know where you stand on fracking as well.”
But the new council leader Roy Perry said a ban could prejudice future planning applications to drill from oil companies. The county council, as minerals and waste authority, decides planning applications for oil and gas though not wind farms which are decided by district councils.
If permission was refused, oil companies could appeal to the High Court to overturn the decision on the grounds their application had been pre-judged.
The British Geological Survey has mapped potential shale gas reserves around the country and suggested massive gas reserves worth millions of pounds could be hidden beneath Hampshire.
Thousands of jobs could be created if drilling companies believe it is worth trying to extricate the supplies, which have lain buried in tiny holes in rocks for millions of years.
Ray Cobbett, co-ordinator of Hampshire Friends of the Earth, said his organisation was opposed to fracking because of the environmental damage and pollution caused by fracturing rocks with chemicals and high pressure water.