An earthquake rattles parts of Ontario and Quebec

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Published May 16, 2024 at 1:03 pm

3.2-magnitude earthquake rattles parts of Ontario and Quebec

Over 100 incident reports have been filed after a small earthquake caused a commotion near Ottawa earlier this week.

Earthquakes Canada says the magnitude 3.2 earthquake was felt at 8:20 a.m. on Wednesday in the northwest Ontario town of Hawkesbury, with the epicentre about 80 kilometres east of Ottawa.

While no injuries have been reported some 134 incidents were filed with the majority of residents saying they felt either weak or light shaking, although some experienced moderate to strong vibrations.

The Intensity scale describes the effects of an earthquake at a given place and time, with the highest report related to Wednesday’s quake rated at 5/10, which can include light damage and strong shaking.

A map of intensity reports following an earthquake in Ontario on May 15, 2024.

The quake struck at a depth of nine kilometres below ground and was also reportedly felt in parts of Western Quebec.

Quakes are caused by the movement and deformation of tectonic plates and underground rock, releasing energy that can cause seismic waves an violent shaking. Earthquakes Canada says a quake with a magnitude lower than 3.5 will be picked up on seismographs but are “generally not felt.” Hundreds of earthquakes occur in Canada every year.

There were five significant earthquake events recorded in Canada in 2023, including 2.3 and a 2.5 magnitude quakes in Ontario.

– With files from The Canadian Press

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