People living in western Scotland were woken by shaking walls and swaying lights after an earthquake shook the region in the early hours of Tuesday.

A quake with a magnitude of 3.1 occurred just before 2am with its epicentre some 11 miles north-west of the town of Lochgilphead, 88 miles north-west of Glasgow, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said.

It is believed the quake struck in the Sound of Jura, and occurred 10km below the earth's surface.

There were no reports of damage or injuries from the quake, which would have been strong enough to shake windows and pictures on walls. 

One local said: "Nothing like an earthquake to jolt you up. That's the biggest one I've felt. Whole house shook."

They added: "I'm in Tarbert Argyll. I've never felt one that big, everything in my room shook."

Someone else wrote: "Argyll earthquake was around 7km from Lochgilphead and felt widely across Argyllshire."


The quake was centred on the Lochgilphead area 

More than 30 people reported to the USGS that they had felt the tremor, with reports coming from as far as Edinburgh and Ballycastle in Northern Ireland.

The agency said the quake happened 10km below the Earth’s surface.

Data from the British Geological Survey shows between 200 and 300 earthquakes are detected in the UK every year, with tremors of between 3.0 and 3.9 magnitude occurring on the mainland once every three years on average.

Police Scotland said they “received a report of a possible explosion and the ground shaking” in the village of Tarbert at around 2am.

A spokeswoman added: “Following inquiries it was confirmed an earthquake had taken place in the Lochilphead area.

“There are no reports of any damage to properties or utilities.”