MASSENA — A minor earthquake, reported as a magnitude 2.8, was felt around St. Lawrence County and southern Ontario on Wednesday night.
Centered roughly 5 miles northwest of the village of Massena near the western tip of Croil Island on the St. Lawrence River, the earthquake was first reported by the U.S. Geological Survey at 7:35 p.m. Wednesday, and information was last updated shortly after 8 a.m. Thursday.
On the Richter Scale, earthquakes are noted as having a magnitude between 1.0 to 9.0 or above, with quakes measuring less than 2.0 considered micro, and those in the range of 2.0 to 3.9 typically described as minor by the USGS — small indoor objects can be observed shaking.
Canadian and American residents provided a total of 157 responses to the USGS via online and phone reporting avenues at seismographic information centers.
The responses cover 17 ZIP codes and 23 municipalities, indicating the earthquake was felt as far south from the epicenter as Canton, and as far north as Cornwall, Ontario. Residents of Waddington, Potsdam and Lisbon also reported feeling the earthquake. The majority of responses were submitted from Massena, Potsdam, Norfolk and Cornwall.
The responses and data were compiled by teams at the USGS National Earthquake Information Center in Colorado.
The north country sees occasional seismic activity — a 3.28-magnitude earthquake was recorded in Quebec last year — but most cause little to no damage and go unnoticed by a majority of residents in a temblor’s radius. A 2.7-magnitude was recorded by the USGS around Ontario and Northern New York in March.
The area impacted by the Massena earthquake is considered part of the Western Quebec Seismic Zone, where minor earthquakes are felt three or four times a year, according to the USGS. The most recent major quake to cause significant damage was recorded in 1935 at the northwestern end of the zone.
If you feel what you believe to be an earthquake, you can submit an online report to the USGS “Did You Feel It?” database at earthquake.usgs.gov/data/dyfi.