A magnitude 4.8 earthquake struck central Kansas Wednesday afternoon, the U.S. geological survey said, rattling a region more accustomed to tornadoes than tremors.
The quake struck some 8 miles south of the small town of Conway Springs at approximately 4.40 p.m. ET (3.40 p.m. local time).
On its website, the USGS said there was a low likelihood of fatalities or economic loss.
Conway Springs High School band teacher Dennis Kerr told BuzzFeed News that students had been let out of class for the day just a few minutes before the tremor began.
Kerr, who said he lost his home in a tornado 11 years ago, described his experience in a post on Facebook:
Conway Springs resident Stephanie Doffing told BuzzFeed News she was at her home on the edge of town when the earthquake began.
"It was like a big thunder or something," Doffing said. "And then all the windows and the walls started shaking, and then my chair was shaking and my computer."
"It lasted about 30 seconds," she said. "It was very intense. I just froze. I didn't know what to do."
Doffing, who has lived in the town for about 30 years, says she and her 10-year-old son were too stunned to seek safety.
"We just froze," she said. "If you hear a tornado siren, we know what to do immediately, but for earthquakes, we're not trained. We don't know."
Doffing said there had been no damage to her home, but she had heard of friends and neighbors whose pictures fell from the walls during the quake.
"In Kansas, you just don't feel earthquakes and that was a pretty bad one," she said.
Doffing said the last year had seen a few small tremors in the area, but nothing of this magnitude. The Kansas governor has appointed a task force to determine whether fracking has caused a rise in quakes in the state.
Sumner County's Emergency Coordinator, James Fair, told BuzzFeed News that there were only minor reports of damage in the area.
He said the town of Milan had reported one property with foundation damage, while at least one tree had been uprooted.
"Fire crews are out doing assessments," Fair said, "but it appears most of the damage has been reported at this point."