“We woke up at 5am by the whole house shaking. The walls were groaning. We haven’t had a chance to check if there are any cracks anywhere,” said Anne and Mathias Elm in Ängelholm to news agency TT.
In the village of Skogaby, close to Laholm, villagers first thought a freight train had derailed close by.
“We live on a hill facing the sea. For a moment I feared the house was sliding down,“ one villager said.
According to seismologist Reynir Bödvarsson at Uppsala University, the quake measured just above 4 on the Richter scale, rather rare for Sweden.
“Quakes of this magnitude happen maybe every ten years in the Sweden-Denmark area. It is rather special,” said Bödvarsson to TT.
Quakes that measure around 3 on the Richter scale occur about three times a year in Sweden, according to Bödvarsson. Tremors reaching 2 on the scale occur some ten times a year.
“The Kattegatt strait is an area which sometimes sees these somewhat larger quakes. They happen every now and again, but it is a bit unusual that they reach this magnitude,” Bödvarsson told TT.
Police in Halmstad reported receiving some 30 calls after the quake and said that in their offices on the fourth floor, windows were shaking and furniture wobbling but that was all.
Bödvarsson told TT that a quake of this magnitude should pose no threat to buildings and that any potential after-quakes should be so small that they will probably not even be noticed.
According to the US geological survey, USGS, the quake occurred in the sea at an approximate depth of 5.8 kilometres beneath the ocean some 51 km south west of Falkenberg, 60 km north west of Höganäs, 61 km west of Halmstad, and 61 km south southwest of Varberg.