4.8-magnitude earthquake rattles southern Ontario

Epicentre near Shawville, Que., says Earthquakes Canada


OTTAWA – Windows rattled, walls swayed and knick-knacks toppled from store shelves near the national capital Friday as Canadians across a wide swath of Ontario and Quebec felt the disconcerting tremors of a 5.2-magnitude earthquake.

In the tiny town of Shawville, Que., about 18 kilometres from where Earthquakes Canada located the temblor’s epicentre, residents described thinking at first there had been an accident or an explosion.

“There was a loud bang and it sounded like a heavy truck had hit the building,” said Katherine Summerfield, who owns and operates Boutique Gwendoline, a women’s apparel shop in town.

“The whole building was shaking and then things started falling off the shelving in the back room. So then we instantly knew it was an earthquake.”

Less than 10 minutes after the first quake, which was initially reported as a 4.8, Earthquakes Canada registered an aftershock of 4.2.

The original quake was powerful enough to shake the big stone and brick building that houses the municipal offices in Shawville, said Mayor Albert Armstrong.

“The windowsill, the walls seemed to shift up and down,” Armstrong told The Canadian Press. “My cabinet behind me was shaking and twisting.

“I’ve lived here all my life and I’ve never witnessed one like that before.”

Armstrong quickly had maintenance crews check the town’s water supply and sewage treatment plant, and then municipal buildings, for damage. But the community appeared to escape unharmed, shy of a few reports of minor residential damage.

One woman said that a furnace pipe was dislodged from her basement ceiling.

But while there was scant physical evidence of the quake near the epicentre, its impact on social media was broad and instantaneous.

The quake touched off an eruption of reaction on Twitter as users reported buildings shaking in Ottawa for several seconds; it was also felt in Toronto and as far away as Waterloo, Ont.

Across the river from Shawville, in Arnprior, Ont., residents reported being startled as buildings began to rumble.

“I thought it was an explosion of some type,” said Arnprior resident Susan Eddie. “Everything started to shake so we went outside, and all my neighbours were outside as well.

Added fellow Arnprior resident Julie Engelberts: “My CD player was shaking. It was scary.”

Police in Arnprior said they received no reports of damage.

The quake was slightly stronger than the last one of significance to hit the region — a magnitude 5.0 earthquake that was felt on the afternoon of June 23, 2010.

That quake’s epicentre was situated in the area of Buckingham, Que., about 56 kilometres north of Ottawa.

Earthquakes Canada said Friday morning’s quake followed the one in 2010 relatively quickly, since the region records an earthquake of magnitude 5.0 or higher, on average, only about once every 20 years.

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4.8-magnitude earthquake rattles southern Ontario

  1. actually 2 earthquakes 10mins apart..

  2. Felt it in Webster, NY

  3. I’m in Cleveland Ohio, and I felt it! Hope my Canadian neighbors are all safe. ;)

  4. I am near Brantford Ontario and I felt it. I was sitting in my recliner with my laptop and my whole chair started to shake. I knew right away it was an earthquake.

  5. Felt in Plattsburgh, NY too.

  6. Why are we having these small shakes now..never did years ago.
    I have been at the same place for 15+ years ..only in the past few years this was happening. Why now?? – Ottawa, ontario. I felt it twice.

  7. funny how a small earthquake that can take only a few second
    to live and die..can be felt so far away?? Does anyone realize there is water underneath the earth.. Thats one reason for the earth to move<:)

  8. I live in London, Ontario and i felt it here i live i a high rise and my computer desk started to shake it was weird but have been throught it when i was nineteen i lived in kitchener and my roommates water bed started to move and yes she was by herself lol

  9. Anyone ever wonder what is happening to the earth when the cushion/buffer of oil is taken out of it? Wouldn’t it stand to reason that the earth would collapse where the oil is removed? Curious question, eh?

    • Not really. Most drilling techniques today involving pumping water down to drive the oil up.

  10. earthquake felt in Belleville Ont…..shower doors shaking and lights swaynig – thought we had a ghost in the house – much relief to know if wasn’t just our place

  11. I felt it here in Waterford Ontario the couch I was sitting on felt like it was swaying back and forth made my curtains also sway and my little dog jumped off the couch and started to run in circles I knew what it was cause I had a similar feeling about two years ago

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