Maine Earthquake: Is The Northeast At Risk For A Huge Quake? [UPDATE]
The Maine earthquake that that rattled the Northeast on Tuesday didn't cause much damage, but it had the potential to be worse. While earthquakes don't strike the Northeast often, when they do, they have the potential to be devastating.
The Maine earthquake, a magnitude 4.0, struck shortly after 7 p.m. on Tuesday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, and people across the Northeast felt it.
"It was loudest bang you ever heard in your life," Jessica Hill, owner of a pizza parlor located 10 miles away from the Maine earthquake's epicenter, told the Associated Press. "The back door and door to the basement blew open."
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Sue Hadiaris, who lives in Saco, Maine, said her entire house shook.
"The whole house shook. It felt like a train was coming right through the house," she told the Associated Press. "It was very unnerving because you could feel the floor shaking. There was a queasy feeling."
But while there have been no reports of injury or damage in this scenario, Northeast earthquakes have the potential to cause immense damage, according to the Northeast States Emergency Consortium.
"The cities in the Northeast are among the most densely populated areas in the United States, which places more people at risk in the event of an earthquake," NSEC says on its website. "The area impacted by an earthquake in the Northeast can be up to 40 times greater than the same magnitude event occurring on the West coast due to our regional geology."
But people in the Northeast don't really have to worry about getting his by a huge quake. Earthquakes don't hit the Northeast often, according to the USGS. In 2006, a series of earthquakes registering as a magnitude 4.0 hit New England, causing rock slides that forced a park trail to close for three years. But other than that, people in the Northeast have little to fear.
"People in New England, and in its geological extension southward through Long Island, have felt small earthquakes and suffered damage from infrequent larger ones since colonial times," according to the USGS. "Moderately damaging earthquakes strike somewhere in the region every few decades, and smaller earthquakes are felt roughly twice a year. The Boston area was damaged three times within 28 years in the middle 1700s, and New York City was damaged in 1737."
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