The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said the quake registered 6.2 magnitude. The quake struck near the city of David, near Panama’s border with Costa Rica. The US Geological Society (USGS) said the quake struck at a depth of 12 miles at 8.24pm BST.
Photos shared on social media showed damage caused by the quake.
Businessman Sidney Sitton shared pictures of shelves toppled over in a supermarket, with paint and cooking sauces covering the floor.
He said people were “nervous” and “frightened” by the strong shaking.
Others left their accounts of the quake on the EMSC website.
One said: “It last for a while. The mirrors, chandeliers, and other things continued swaying for about 30 seconds.”
Another said: “Very strong, like bouncing.”
A third said: “Standing up outside I felt the ground waving under my feet.”
The USGS’s automatic analysis indicated there is a high likelihood no serious damage had been caused.
They said there was a 60% chance the estimated economic losses due to the quake would be between $0 and $1 million. They said there was a 30% chance damages costing more than $1 million but less than $10 million may have been caused.
The USGS said: “Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are a mix of vulnerable and earthquake resistant construction. The predominant vulnerable building types are mud wall and informal (metal, timber, GI etc.) construction.
“Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides and liquefaction that might have contributed to losses.”