The quake struck 60 kms east of Paradip at a depth of 10 kms at 9.52 pm, said LS Rathore, Director General, India Meterological Department.
Residents in some places of Odisha and Tamil Nadu moved out of their houses as soon as the quake struck and a few buildings developed cracks in Bhubaneshwar.
"The epicentre of the earthquake was in the Bay of Bengal with its coordinates being 18.1 degree north and 87.8 degree east, measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale," said Ministry of Earth Science Secretary Shailesh Nayak.
The tremor was felt for a few seconds in many areas of Odisha, including state capital Bhubaneshwar but it was enough to trigger panic among people who immediately moved out of buildings.
Residents of Punama Gate locality in Old Town area of Bhuaneshwar said cracks had appeared on the walls of some buildings and kitchen utensils fell off the racks.
A report from Cuttack said electricity supply was snapped for about 15 minutes in some areas of the city after the tremor.
Panic gripped several parts of Odisha's Kendrapara district where residents felt the tremors for about 10 seconds.
"We were in the house and felt the jolts. Doors, windows and cots in the house all shook. We were terrified," said Sashmita, a homemaker.
"No casualty or loss of property was reported from any part of the state so far. There is no need to panic," Odisha's Joint Special Relief Commissioner, Prabhat Mohapatra said.
A Chennai report said tremors were felt in parts of Nungambakkam, Porur and Triplicane where people rushed out of their homes.

Residents in the villages of Paradip and Jagasinghpur districts of Odisha also experienced the tremors and people along the coastal areas of both the districts were apprehensive of a tsunami.
Tremors were also felt in Kolkata and adjoining districts across South Bengal.
Bihar state MeT department director A Sen said the quake was felt in Patna, Gaya, Buxar and some others parts of the state but there was no report of any damage.
In Odisha, the tremors were felt in the districts of Balasore, Keonjhar, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Kandhamal, Nabarangpur, Rourkela, Puri, Bhadrak and Jajpur, reports said.
The quake was also felt across most places in Jharkhand,
Officials at the regional seismological centre in Shillong said the quake was moderate in nature and was not expected to generate a tsunami.


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