A 3.9 magnitude earthquake centred near Martinborough shook homes and disturbed families throughout Wairarapa on Thursday night.

According to GeoNet, the earthquake had a focal depth of 19km and struck about 20km northwest of Martinborough at about 11.46pm.

Comments posted to the Wairarapa Times-Age Facebook page in the aftermath of the shake included reports of sleepers being startled awake in Featherston and Morison's Bush, windows rattling in Greytown, and a quick, sharp jolt being felt at homes in Masterton.

A Parkvale resident posted the quake striking "like a truck had hit our house" and another resident in Carterton reported that their "house was moving".

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Other posts to the Facebook page included reports of the quake being felt as far away as Wellington and Feilding.