Image courtesy of CBC's Quake Shakes Quebec, Ontario
Yesterday afternoon I was sitting at the computer doing a bit of blogging when all of a sudden the house started to shake and sway. It was a very scary feeling! I quickly ran to the patio doors to see if perhaps a freighter had run into out seawall. Our house is a two level house with the main floor mainly underground giving the full effect of the tremor. The 5.0 magnitude earthquake happened at 1:41 PM ET with the epicentre in Echo Lake, Quebec, 60 kilometres north of Ottawa. Echo Lake is near the Ontario border. The earthquake was strongest at the epicentre withe tremors being felt throughout southern and eastern Ontario, western Quebec as well as the US states of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, New Jersey and New York. A section of Highway 307 north of Ottawa near Bowman, Quebec collapsed shutting down that route. Gracefield's church (about 40 km west of Echo Lake) , community centre, a local hotel, and a local restaurant sustained significant damage. Ottawa's City Hall windows shattered. A brick chimney came apart at the nearby solicitor's building causing further damage. The Ontario Provincial Police reported no injuries due to the earthquake itself but warnings were given for people to protect themselves against aftershocks.
There are mall fault lines along Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. A relatively active fault line that runs parallel to the St. Lawrence Valley. The last major quake on that fault line occured in 1998. It was 5.4-magnitude. Many outside of Canada do not realize that the Ottawa valley is an earthquake zone. Smaller earthquakes occur about once every 5 days in the area of the epicentre of this earthquake. This earthquake was originally reported as a 5.5 magnitude but was downgraded to a 5.0 magnitude.