A small earthquake rumbled through western New York early Monday, alarming people in a region unaccustomed to such shaking but apparently causing no significant damage.
The U.S. Geological Survey preliminarily reported a 3.8 earthquake centered east of Buffalo in the suburb of West Seneca at about 6:15 a.m. Seismologist Yaareb Altaweel said it was the region’s strongest quake in at least 40 years.
The shaking lasted a few seconds and sent residents first to their windows and then to social media in search of an explanation.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz tweeted that no damage had been reported so far in West Seneca, a suburb of Buffalo.
“It felt like a car hit my house in Buffalo. I jumped out of bed,” Poloncarz tweeted. County emergency services officials confirmed the earthquake was felt in at least a 30-mile radius, including in Niagara Falls, about 20 miles north of Buffalo, he said.
Earthquake Canada, which measured a 4.2 magnitude event, reported it was felt slightly in southern Ontario.
Small earthquakes are not unusual in upstate New York but are rarely felt as strongly. The earthquake comes on the heels of two record-breaking weather events in the region: A snowstorm that dropped as much as 7 feet of snow in November and a blizzard in December that is blamed for 47 deaths.
The western New York earthquake occurred hours after powerful quakes killed hundreds in Turkey and Syria. A USGS spokesperson said there is no connection between the two events.
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