A magnitude 4.7 earthquake felt near Paphos on Tuesday night was preceded by weaker tremors of a 2.7 magnitude, the Cyprus Seismological Centre confirmed on Wednesday.

The quake was also felt in the Nicosia, Kyrenia, Larnaca and Famagusta districts, in addition to Lebanon, Israel and southern Turkey.

Geological survey department director Christodoulos Hadjigeorgiou said that the first tremors were recorded at 10.05pm and the main quake came a few minutes later, at 10.11.

It had an epicentre 10 kilometres south-east of Paphos, in the Paphos airport-Mandria area, and a depth of 20 kilometres.

He added that an aftershock of 3.9 magnitude was recorded at 11.02pm, with an epicentre 14 kilometres east of Paphos and a depth of 20 kilometres.

“It was very unexpected,” one resident told state broadcaster CyBC. “The doors were rattling, making a lot of noise… what worried us the most was the sound”.

“I was watching TV when it happened,” a second man said, “it shook the entire house for a few seconds”.

Others said they were jolted awake as they were in bed when the quake happened. “It didn’t last long,” a woman said. “I was scared at first but I went back to sleep”.

Hadjigeorgiou said that aftershocks continue at a much smaller magnitude, with at least five recorded by 8.30 on Wednesday morning.

Asked about frequent seismic activity in Cyprus, he explained that this is because it is located in a very earthquake-prone area.

He added that we can expect more quakes in the future, ending with the hope they will not be catastrophic.