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Quebec-based earthquake felt here (update)

March 16, 2011
By CHRIS KNIGHT, Enterprise Senior Staff Writer

SARANAC LAKE - Local residents felt a small earthquake here Wednesday afternoon.

Natural Resources Canada initially reported a magnitude 4.7 quake had hit the Lachute, Quebec region at 1:36 p.m. but the agency later downgraded the quake to a 4.3. It was centered just southwest of Hawkesbury, Ontario, along the Ottawa River.

The U.S. Geological Survey initially gave the quake a 3.7 magnitude but later raised it to a 4.3.

Article Photos

(U.S. Geological Survey map)

Reports on several Canadian news websites say the tremors were felt in the greater Montreal area, which is about 60 miles east of Hawkesbury, and Ottawa, about 65 miles southwest of the epicenter.

The quake was also felt in Saranac Lake.

"I was sitting at my desk in my desk chair, and I started rocking forward and backwards and felt the walls kind of shimmy," said Franklin Avenue resident Susan Waters. "I live on a hill, so sometimes I get a rumbling from trucks going up and down the hill. But this definitely felt different. It wasn't that strong, but it was definitely strong enough to notice."

Waters said her dog came and sat next to her after they heard the small tremor.

"She usually hides in the cellar before fireworks are going to start or when bad weather is hitting," Waters said. "I think she's got a sixth sense about this kind of stuff."

Other Saranac Lake residents had the same experience. Enterprise Staff Writer Jessica Collier said she felt a rumbling in her Park Avenue apartment building and thought it was her neighbors downstairs making a ruckus.

There were no immediate reports of any damage or injuries.

Earthquakes in this part of the world occur from time to time. A magnitude 5.0 tremor, centered north of Ottawa, struck the area in June of last year. It was felt throughout Quebec, Ontario, most of New York state and as far away as West Virginia and New Jersey. Many downtown Ottawa apartment buildings were evacuated during that quake, which broke a few windows and caused power outages in parts of the city.

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake hit the AuSable Forks area in April 2002 and damaged roads, bridges, chimneys and water lines in Clinton and Essex counties. Many buildings in the area of the quake's epicenter had cracked walls and foundations, broken windows and small items were knocked from their shelves.


Contact Chris Knight at 891-2600 ext. 24 or



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