Late night earthquake felt in Belfast area

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff
Posted Nov. 24, 2012, at 12:11 p.m.

BELFAST, Maine — A minor earthquake gave some residents a jolt Friday night.

A magnitude 2.0 occurred two miles northwest of Belfast, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The quake occurred at 11:25 p.m.

There were 46 people from the area who reported online that they felt the quake, according to John Bellini who is a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

A 2.0 will generally not cause any damage, he said. He said it takes a 4.5 magnitude quake generally before there is any damage.

“With a 2.0 you get a quick jolt, a bang or a bump,” Bellini said.

He said the number of people who felt it is more than if it had occurred during the day when there is more human action going on and more noise.

“People were probably just going to bed and felt it,” he said.

A 2.0 is on the low end of quakes that can be felt, he added.

The Waldo County Communications Center said it received some calls from people reporting a possible quake but no damage or injuries were reported.

Bellini said an increase of one magnitude in a quake, such as from 2.0 to 3.0 would increase ground movement by 10 times and the amount of energy is about 32 times greater.

The largest quake that has been felt in Maine since records were maintained occurred on March 21, 1904, according to the USGS. That 5.1 quake knocked over some chimneys in Calais, Eastport and St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada. The quake was felt throughout New England and the Atlantic Provinces.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/11/24/news/midcoast/late-night-earthquake-felt-in-belfast-area/ printed on July 31, 2014