An earthquake has been recorded off the Sussex coast.

Residents in Eastbourne said they felt the ground shake for a few seconds when it struck.

The quake struck in the English Channel at 1.53pm on Thursday, January 18.

Details now published by the British Geological Survey (BGS), reveal that the tremor had a depth of two kilometres and a magnitude of 2.9 - which is said to be as intense as 20,000 kilos of dynamite by earthquake and tsunami experts SMS Tsunami Warning.

Shallow earthquakes are felt more strongly than deeper ones as they are closer to the surface.

Its epicentre was around 23km south west of Eastbourne.

It is the first earthquake to strike the English Channel this year.

Most earthquakes in Britain occur on the west side of the mainland.

Each year, between 200 and 300 earthquakes are detected and located in the UK by BGS. Most are very small and cause no damage, with just 20 to 30 of these being felt by people.

A magnitude four earthquake, which can be felt for miles around, happens in Britain roughly every two years.