June 23, 2010

Earthquake strikes Ontario, Quebec & New York

CANADA/ENVIRONMENT - A 5.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Ontario-Quebec border near Ottawa Wednesday afternoon at 1:41 PM with tremors felt as far away as Montreal, Toronto, New York and Detroit.

For people in Toronto it felt like buildings suddenly lurched 4-6 inches back and forth in a North-South direction, shaking walls and furniture alike for approx. 5 seconds. Many Toronto buildings were evacuated while people speculated about the cause.

The epicentre of the earthquake was 45 km north of Gatineau, Quebec where the earthquake was felt for about 30 seconds. No injuries were reported.

According to the Prime Minister's Office a picture fell off the wall just outside the PMO, but there was no evacuation of Parliament Hill. A geological fault line runs through the Ottawa Valley. The last big earthquake in Ontario was in October 1998, when a 5.4 earthquake struck southern Ontario.

The recent earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, China and other locations has some scientists speculating that the earth might be entering a period of more widespread earthquakes that happen more frequently.

“Be reassured,” a visitor joked on the Radio-Canada website. “It's just Quebec separating.”

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