Some people are expected to remain out of their homes for weeks until repairs can be completed on the buildings damaged by the tremor which struck at 8am on Saturday morning just over four miles south east of Ashford.
Families seeking alternative accommodation found respite from their damaged homes at the Folkestone Salvation Army church run by ministers Captains Mark and Lindy Rose. Around 100 people took refuge there over the course of the morning.
Captain Mark Rose said: “We have had a lot of people through the doors and almost all of them have been suffering from some sort of shock. They have been able to talk to each other and share experiences which provides a measure of comfort.”
A mobile emergency vehicle fitted with its own gas and electric generator was sent by The Salvation Army also to Folkestone from its regional headquarters in Maidstone to provide the evacuees with essential food and drink refreshments.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service said it had taken more than 100 emergency calls following the earthquake, and some parts of Kent had to go without electricity and gas for a short time after the tremor.
According to a spokesman for the British Geological Survey, Saturday’s earthquake was the largest in Britain since an earthquake hit Dudley in 2002.
Salvation Army personnel remained on site throughout Saturday to provide emotional support.