Minor earthquake shakes region
A minor earthquake that originated in eastern Ontario near the west Quebec border shook the region Wednesday afternoon.
"All of a sudden, I heard a rumble. I thought it was a truck going by but then I felt a rumble underneath my feet and the floor swayed a wee bit so I knew right away it was an earthquake," said Lorraine Lafremboise, who felt her home shake in Ottawa's Orleans neighbourhood.
Earthquakes Canada says the small earthquake occurred six kilometres southeast of Hawkesbury, Ont. at 1:36 p.m. Wednesday. The agency originally pegged the epicentre as Lachute, Que., just north of Hawkesbury. The tremor was felt from Montreal to Ottawa.
The earthquake lasted about 10 seconds; its depth was an estimated 12.8 kilometres. While Canadian officials say it was a 4.3-magnitude earthquake, the U.S. Geological Survey said it was only a 3.7. They later changed their measurement to be inline with Canadian experts.
Earthquakes Canada originally reported the event as a 4.7-magnitude earthquake.
Viewers from across the region contacted CTV Ottawa Wednesday to say they felt the earth shake beneath their feet. Many said it lasted a few seconds and felt like a large truck passing by their homes. So far, no damage has been reported.
Every year, the region has an average of 100 to 150 mostly small earthquakes. Experts say most of those are too small to feel.
Earthquakes Canada says our region generally experiences one magnitude-four earthquake every two to three years.
While many residents felt this quake, experts say it was only one-tenth the size of the one that rocked the region last summer.
In June 2010, a 5.0-magnitude earthquake rattled eastern Ontario and west Quebec. The epicentre of that quake was in Val-des-Bois, Que., about 54 kilometres northeast of Ottawa. The worst damage was experienced in Gracefield, Que.
Dr. John Adams of the Geological Survey of Canada says a series of fault lines that run along the Ottawa River and western Quebec is to blame for the earthquakes.
"We have more earthquakes in this band than, if you like, to the north and to the south, so in a sense that band of weakness, which is actually made up of a whole lot of faults, is actually having earthquakes on it," Adams told CTV Ottawa.
He says this was a very minor earthquake. In comparison, the amount of energy released in the Japanese earthquake last week was 500-million times more than the one that hit our region on Wednesday.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Norman Fetterley