4.5-magnitude earthquake shakes Montreal area
Published Wednesday, October 10, 2012 6:36AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 10, 2012 12:54PM EDT
A mild earthquake rumbled through the Montreal area just after midnight Wednesday.
The 4.5-magnitude quake struck at 12:20 a.m., according to Natural Resources Canada seismologist Allison Bent.
The temblor lasted a few seconds and was felt as far as Ottawa.
The earthquake’s epicentre was near Saint-Hyacinthe, just east of Montreal.
Some Quebecers reported being jolted from their sleep by the quake.
A viewer told CTV Montreal that the quake “started like a boom then shook our large house with vibrations.” Those vibrations became weaker before they stopped completely.
Another resident in Montreal reported feeling “shaking and rumbling,” what sounded like a train rumbling through.
“You don’t feel that every day,” he said.
Another Montrealer said that, “It’s always a little bit unnerving to think that the Earth is moving.”
The quake prompted a large volume of calls to 911, Montreal police spokesperson Simon Delorme told The Canadian Press. Delorme also noted there were no reports of damage.
In an interview with CTV News Channel, Bent said shaking would last for several seconds during a 4.5-magnitude quake. Residents near the epicentre “would have absolutely no doubt in their mind” that what they felt was an earthquake.
“I suspect quite a few sleepers were awakened, but some of the sounder sleepers wouldn’t have noticed it,” Bent said.
Bent noted that small earthquakes, of about a magnitude of 2, hit the region on average once a month. And although larger quakes are rare for the area, they can happen.
“Historically there have been some earthquakes as high as magnitude 6 in this region so it’s quite possible one would happen sometime in the future,” Bent said. “But it might be 10 years from now or it might be 300 years from now. So it’s not necessarily imminent, but it’s possible.”
In June 2010, a more powerful earthquake took place between Ottawa and Montreal.
The 5.0-magnitude quake prompted the town of Gracefield, Que. to declare a state of emergency. The town sat near the quake’s epicentre. Several buildings, including a church and grocery store, were damaged.
That particular quake was also felt in Ontario.