A 3.6 magnitude earthquake struck Srinagar and nearby districts, including Ganderbal and Budgam, late Tuesday night, according to the National Center for Seismology (NCS).
Panicked residents came rushing out of their homes as the tremors were felt. There have been no reports of casualties or damage, so far. The NCS said the quake struck at 9.40 PM at a depth of around five km.
Minutes later Srinagar District Magistrate Shahid Choudhary tweeted: "This was scary. Hope everyone is safe. #EARTHQUAKE".
This was scary. Hope everyone is safe. #EARTHQUAKE— Shahid Choudhary (@listenshahid) September 22, 2020
People took to Twitter to say they had heard loud noises and experienced prolonged shaking of the ground. Some were puzzled about the noises.
Others suggested it may not have been an earthquake, but could not explain the incident.
A few also saw the lighter side of the confusion, with one user comparing the earthquake to Thanos (the supervillain in the Marvel: Avengers comics) arriving in Srinagar.
"It wasn't (an) earthquake but Thanos landing in Srinagar," the user said.
It wasn't earthquake but Thanos landing in Srinagar. pic.twitter.com/cpRrQIxlll— Xahoor Bhat ظہور احمد (@bhat_xahoor) September 22, 2020
One person wrote: "Sit down people. It was an earthquake and guess what? This time Srinagar was the centre".
Sit down people. It was an earthquake and guess what this time srinagar was the centre .— ہ. (@Humaira_Imtiyaz) September 22, 2020
Another user was more sceptical, referring to "very loud bang(s)" and "rushing winds" before saying that global monitoring stations had not reported an earthquake.
Another said that while the tremors were not felt in South Kashmir, people in Srinagar had experienced it.
"No tremors were felt in any part down South Kashmir, meanwhile people in Srinagar have come out on the streets as "their houses shook" on Tuesday," the user tweeted.
No Tremors were felt in any part down South Kashmir, meanwhile people in Srinagar have come out on the streets as "their houses shook" on Tuesday. pic.twitter.com/SjPdH96xU4— قاضی شبلی (@QaziShibli) September 22, 2020
"In Srinagar, jets flying, a loud bang sounded like a big blast followed by a massive earthquake. What's going on?" another user asked.
In Srinagar, jets flying, a loud bang sounded like a big blast followed by a massive earthquake.— Aarif Shah (@aarifshaah) September 22, 2020
What's gong on.
Meanwhile, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre - a France-based non-profit organisation - also said an earthquake had been recorded.
Sorry I meant 20 min AGO!— EMSC (@LastQuake) September 22, 2020
Sound has been widely reported. It is not unusual when at close distance from an earthquake. As I said, we have no reason at this stage to believe it is not an earthquake. https://t.co/UQbKkUB5ag
The EMSC also said hearing loud noises "...is not unusual when at close distance from an earthquake".