Wednesday, October 17, 2012

EARTHQUAKE: Fundy Earthquake rumbles on through to Maine and New England.

Quake rumbles through region, By Jordan Graham

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - Updated 12 hours ago

An earthquake centered in Maine sent tremors rippling from Montreal to northern New Jersey last night, prompting the phones to “ring off the hook” at the National Weather Service and causing some in the Hub to wonder which coast they were on.

“My children were texting me. They said, ‘come home now!’ ” said Melanie Wernick, 51, of Wellesley, who left the opening of restaurant 75 on Liberty Wharf because her kids, 11 and 12, were scared.

“It felt like a piano dropped,” said Craig Dembeck, 51, of Detroit, who was in his hotel room in Boston’s Seaport District when the quake hit. “I wasn’t nervous … just a little bit.”

The tremor — 4.6 on the Richter scale — was centered southwest of Lake Arrowhead in Maine, 20 miles west of Portland, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The news blasted out on social media quickly, with some tweets declaring “Earthquake in Brookline. Building just shook like mad!” and “I’m just south of Pilgrim and it shook the house, so they probably felt it there too.” That person was referring to the nuclear power plant in Plymouth.

Others in Boston were oblivious to the quake.

“I can’t believe it actually happened, how did we not feel that?” said Kate Sweltz, 24, of Brooklyn, who was in the Seaport District.

The quake struck at 7:12 p.m., according to the USGS.

Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis said “phone lines down in Maine. Our switchboard lit up. No damage in Boston reported at this time.” The closest community to the epicenter was Hollis Center, Maine, three miles east.

Hollis Selectman Dave McCubrey started to go running outside to help what he thought must have been a car crash or explosion when he realized it was an earthquake.

“You don’t get earthquakes in Maine,” he told the Herald. “I thought a tractor-trailer had either crashed in to my house or the gas station blew up. It was that bad.”

Despite the shaking, McCubrey said his home was not damaged, and he has not heard of any injuries or significant damage.

“It gave everybody a scare,” he said. “The good news is that nobody got hurt.”

McCubrey said people in town are already making jokes about the quake on Facebook.

“The way the economy is, we don’t need anything broken,” he added.

The last earthquake to be felt in the Boston area was in August 2011. A 5.8 magnitude quake based in Virginia shook downtown Boston, forcing the evacuation of several skyscrapers. There were no reports of injuries or serious damage.

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