Phones at the local police station were ringing off the hook as shaken locals called in to report the incident, Focus magazine reports.
“We can confirm that the earthquake took place. So far twelve people have called in to tell us about it,” a spokesperson for the police in Bergheim said.
“Concerned residents mentioned shaking wardrobes,” the spokesperson continued, adding that “we’re in contact with the fire services.”
Witnesses reported that the tremors lasted around five seconds and were “surprising, sharp and short.”
Authorities are now checking houses for possible damage.
A spokesperson for the fire services said that people reported their houses shaking and hearing strange noises.
The earthquake station in Bensberg confirmed that the quake registered 2.7 on the Richter scale and that the epicentre was a kilometer underneath the ground in Bergheim.
According to Focus the quake was likely caused by mining in the region.
Locals took to social media to write about their experience of the tremors, with some claiming they were ripped from their sleep by the convulsions.
“What the hell? The whole house shook” wrote one person on Twitter.
— Anja R. (@_Kulturmensch_) December 22, 2015