Rare M4.0 earthquake hits near Cleveland, Ohio in Lake Erie – Almost 6,000 people report feeling the quake


A magnitude 4.0 earthquake hit near the Ohio coast in Lake Erie around 10:50 a.m. Monday, June 10, 2019.

The tremors were felt as far away as Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania, nearly 99 miles away. A little bit less than 6,000 people have reported feeling the earthquake on the USGS page.

M4.0 earthquake hits Ohio on June 10, 2019. Many reports, strong shaking. Map via USGS

What did happen?

Residents of the Buckeye State got an extra jolt to their Monday morning when an earthquake rattled parts of the state, overwhelming some 911 dispatch centers.

The United States Geological Survey said the 4.0 magnitude earthquake was centered in Lake Erie about 2.5 miles north of Eastlake, Ohio at 10:50 a.m.

The quake had a shallow depth of about 3 miles and was felt by people across the region in cities such as Mentor and Cleveland. There were no reports of damage or injuries from the quake.

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources: “A series of aftershocks have followed, ranging in magnitude from 2.1 to 2.5. Seismic activity of 2.5 and above can generally be felt. This is a known epicenter of earthquakes, due to the geologic history of the area. Seismologists from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources continue to monitor the seismic activity.

In Northeast Ohio, the earthquake shook several Ohio Department of Transportation cameras.

The city of Mentor, located about 25 miles northeast of Cleveland, said on Twitter the shaking caused dispatch to be “overwhelmed with 911 calls.” The Wickliffe Police Department also reported shaking. “No reports of damage but getting lots of calls asking what it was,” police said.

Many across the Cleveland metropolitan area took to social media to report the shaking.

FOX 8 reached out to FirstEnergy to see if they had to take any action at the Perry Nuclear Power Plant. According to FirstEnergy, nothing abnormal happened at the plant. Plant workers conducted a comprehensive inspection of the plant, both inside and outside, according to a spokesperson. They report no damage. They also say no seismic activity was noted on their equipment.

Earthquakes’ history in Ohio

According to the USGS, the Northeast Ohio seismic zone has had “moderately frequent earthquakes” since the first was recorded in 1823.

East of the Rockies, earthquakes can typically be felt over a much broader region than those in the western U.S.

A magnitude 4.0 eastern U.S. earthquake typically can be felt at many places as far as 100 km (60 mi) from where it occurred, and it infrequently causes damage near its source,” according to USGS.

At least 100 earthquakes since 1836 have been reported beneath Lake Erie offshore from Lake County. While many of the quakes have caused little to no damage, an earthquake on January 31, 1986 “strongly shook” Ohio and was felt in 10 other states and southern Canada.

This event had a magnitude of 5.0 and caused minor to moderate damage, including broken windows and cracked plaster, in the epicentral area,” the state agency states.

Ohio earthquake origins

The origins of Ohio earthquakes are not entirely understood, but appears to be associated with ancient zones of weakness in the Earth’s crust that formed during rifting and continental collision events about a billion years ago.

These zones are characterized by deeply buried and poorly known faults, some of which serve as the sites for periodic release of strain that is constantly building up in the North American continental plate due to continuous movement of the tectonic plates that make up the Earth’s crust,” according to the agency.

Such a quake is always surprising! Just wait for the next M5.0… It will really rumble! Be prepared!

[USGS, ABC6, Fox News, Fox8]

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