Authorities said the strongest earthquake to hit southern New England in decades shook homes and nerves Sunday morning, but caused no major damage.
The earthquake, measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale, occurred off the coast of New Bedford, Massachusetts, in Bazards Bay after 9 a.m., according to the National Seismological Information Center of the US Geological Survey.
The earthquake struck at a depth of just over 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) and was felt by people across Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Long Island, New York.
It was the strongest earthquake in the region since a magnitude 3.5 earthquake in March 1976, said Paul Caruso, a geophysicist with the US Geological Survey.
About 14,000 people went to the agency’s site to report the earthquake, including people from Easthampton, Massachusetts, and Hartford, Connecticut, both about 100 miles (160 kilometers) away, and several people from over 50 miles (80 kilometers) in Boston, he He said.
This is not unusual in New England.
“It’s common for them to feel very far away because the rock here is old, continuous, and transmits energy over long distances,” said Caruso.
Ali Kenner Brodsky, who lives in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, not far from the epicenter, was sitting in her kitchen talking to her son, when the explosion struck her.
It was gurgling. It looked as though something had exploded. A rumble. She said, “The whole house shook.
She said it lasted about 10 to 15 seconds. “At that moment, it feels like it’s going on forever.”
Her husband, Sam, ran downstairs because he thought the kettle had exploded.
Caruso said earthquakes with a magnitude of 3.6 seldom cause significant damage.
Chris Pace, a spokesman for the Massachusetts State Emergency Management Agency, said he had not received any reports of significant damage.
There were some reports of minor damage.
New Bedford Mayor John Mitchell reports that the quake caused damage to at least two homes in the city’s South End. The fire department searches the basements and the Red Cross is helping the affected population.
The earthquake appears to have caused damage like this to at least two homes in the South End. The fire department inspects the adjacent cellars, and @Red Cross It helps in accommodating passengers. pic.twitter.com/wjCPhSgA4H
John Mitchell (@JonMitchellNB) November 8, 2020
“I encourage everyone to check their chimneys for damage, especially in the basement. If you find damage, please contact the fire department. You should also make sure that your carbon monoxide detector is working,” Mitchell tweeted.
Police in Fall River tweeted that they had received numerous phone calls about the quake, including reports of things falling off shelves and street signs being uprooted.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)