30 seconds of terror!

were left panicking on Monday as a 5.6 magnitude earthquake hit the island prompting people to flee buildings amid heavy shaking that knocked out power in some areas but appeared to cause no serious damage.

Most people reported feeling the tremor for approximately 30 seconds.

The quake’s epicentre was about four kilometres west-northwest of Hope Bay, Portland and occurred at a shallow depth of 10 kilometres.

Jamaica sits atop the Enriquillo–Plantain Garden fault zone as do Haiti and the Dominican Republic and has been the scene of several earthquakes over many years.

Seismologists say that while small earthquakes are common in and around Jamaica — approximately 200 a year — strong ones are rare.