In George Town, tremors from the earthquake sent Penangites rushing out of high-rise residential buildings and shopping complexes in panic.
Audience in a movie theatre located in a shopping mall here were also evacuated, around 2.10pm.
Bayan Lepas Meteorological Office director Loh Eng Kee, who is in charge of operations in the northern states, urged the public not to panic as there was "nothing to worry about."
"The earthquake is many kilometres away from us," he said.
The location of the quake was reported to be 510km southwest of Bayan Lepas.