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5.5 Earthquake Hits Canada; Felt in US Midwest, New England 560

joelmax writes "A magnitude 5.5 earthquake hit central Canada this afternoon, rattling buildings from Windsor to Montreal to several US states. The epicentre of the quake was in Quebec, 61 kilometres north of Ottawa, according to the US Geological Survey, and struck at 1:41 pm EDT." If you felt this quake, it would be great to put your location in the title of your comments, below — with lat/long coordinates even better.
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5.5 Earthquake Hits Canada; Felt in US Midwest, New England

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  • Shaking in Ottawa (Score:5, Interesting)

    by geo-geo ( 33913 ) * on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @03:12PM (#32668768)

    I was in a boardroom on the 6th (top) floor of our building for a 1:30 pm meeting and just as we're getting underway the table and chairs were shaking. Was pretty heavy for about 20 seconds and then faded off over the next minute. We're a lot of government buildings so the policy is to evacuate. We actually tried to continue our meeting but then they finally got to our floor to check it out they found us and told us to leave. As you can guess, no more work is really being done today. It's pretty exciting for us as we don't get this here.
    One interesting note, when I did go outside most everyone was on their cell phone and several were stating that they couldn't get service. I would guess because of the increase in volume at that time.

    • by Monkeedude1212 ( 1560403 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @03:19PM (#32668924) Journal

      I didn't get touched, I'm in Alberta, but our Branches out in the Toronto Area felt it quite a bit.

      Latitude = 43.6325, Longitude = -79.6601
      Lat = 43 degrees, 38.0 minutes North
      Long = 79 degrees, 39.6 minutes West

      Our only Tech out there emailed and asked if our systems were capable of withstanding 5.5 Earthquakes.

        We emailed back "We don't know!!! Is everything running? Power okay? Any one sent in any IT Requests?"

      To which he responded, "Everything looks good. We're all fine by the way, thanks for checking."

    • by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @03:35PM (#32669272)

      We actually tried to continue our meeting but then they finally got to our floor to check it out they found us and told us to leave. As you can guess, no more work is really being done today.

      You know, as a resident of Southern California, I don't get many opportunities to call anybody else a weenie*...

      * :)

      • by Quiet_Desperation ( 858215 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @04:00PM (#32669766)

        Seriously. 5.5? I don't get out of bed for anything less than a 6.5.

        I guess we're just jaded here in SoCal.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by noidentity ( 188756 )
        If you're in an area that isn't hit often, it's smart to take it seriously, even though people in other areas treat the same magnitude earthquake something less-serious. People in the latter place are used to handling the after-effects, and the infrastructure is made to handle it better. In other words, the context matters as well as the event.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ShakaUVM ( 157947 )

        >>You know, as a resident of Southern California, I don't get many opportunities to call anybody else a weenie*...


        Since when is a mere 5.5 earthquake front page news on Slashdot? I guess people in other parts of the country don't really understand that a 5.5 is quite weak.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by FiloEleven ( 602040 )

          It's news because it's an unusual geological event, and there are lots of geeks who find this sort of thing interesting. Since it was so widespread, I'm sure they got a lot of submissions from people who were affected by it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @03:13PM (#32668770)

    Get a map... its the east side of Canada.

    Yes, Toronto is ego central though...

    • Not flamebait, it's true! I'm currently in Winnipeg...also known as the center of Canada, and when I read central Canada I was more than a little confused.

  • Central Canada? (Score:4, Informative)

    by mdielmann ( 514750 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @03:14PM (#32668792) Homepage Journal

    That's not exactly Central Canada. You can't go much farther east without being in the Atlantic. Granted, it probably impacted more Canadians than an earthquake anywhere else in the country would have.

    • Re:Central Canada? (Score:5, Informative)

      by JazMuadDib ( 600258 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @03:29PM (#32669138)

      Central Canada is a term used in Canada to represent Ontario and Quebec, as opposed to Western or Atlantic Canada. It has little to do with geography.

    • It's certainly Central Canada based on east/west population distribution - although it may have shifted west in the last while, I believe that the population center of Canada (based on a center-of-gravity type calculation with population density) was calculated to be just north of Toronto. You can pretty much just discount everyone in Northern Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and the maritime provinces. Then you have BC/Alberta balancing off Quebec, and Southern Ontario gets split in half.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You must be from Calgary.

      Eastern Canada is New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI and NFLD/Labrador.
      Western Canada is west of Ontario.

  • Nothing in Chicago (Score:5, Informative)

    by Thelasko ( 1196535 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @03:14PM (#32668802) Journal
    But I figured a USGS link [] was in order.
  • by Jamori ( 725303 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @03:14PM (#32668804)
  • by PieterBr ( 1013955 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @03:14PM (#32668806)
    At first I thought it was because the US won their group on the world championship. But then I realised the are no football fans in America.
  • Ann Arbor (Score:5, Informative)

    by CoffeePlease ( 596791 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @03:14PM (#32668816) Homepage
    42.31124, -83.67578 Thought it was a particularly large person stomping around near my cube. The floor shimmied slightly. It was cool.
  • I opened my RSS feed reader and... woah! earthquake in Canada!
    and below the title "1 person likes this" and a big smiley. there's some really crazy people out there..
  • by theheadlessrabbit ( 1022587 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @03:16PM (#32668856) Homepage Journal

    I felt it in my basement apartment in Toronto.

    But was it really an earthquake, or did the thought of all those politicians gathering for the G20 make the ground vomit?

    • I felt it in Toronto as well. I was 21 floors up, so it was pretty intense. Lights, doors, etc were swinging. According to my security guard, someone on the upper floors of one of the buildings here saw their furniture move across the floor.

      Once I made my way down 21 flights of stairs, I spoke to some of my neighbours. About 3/4 of all the residents brought up the G20 jokingly. Pretty much sums up what we think about the event, huh?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I felt it at my work in the downtown core as well. It was a small rumble here, though. I doubt it caused any real damage, although given the fact that the G20 is in town, an earthquake was not my first instinct when I felt it...
  • by Tsaot ( 859424 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @03:16PM (#32668862) Homepage
    Or, to save time, you could just try querying the Twitter API for any tweets with the #earthquake tag, check the location of said tweets, and plug those into Google maps. Or, for an even faster (but more constrained) result, you could just check the USGS Did You Feel It? map. []
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      In answer to your subject:

      No. With all confidence and utmost sincerity, I believe I speak for the majority of Slashdot users when I say, in fact, no, Twitter is not good enough for us. Thank you for your time.

  • by BLToday ( 1777712 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @03:17PM (#32668894)
    I'm from California, a 5.5 is about a large truck going by. One time, we had a 5.4 in the Bay Area and it was one of those quick jolt ones. I thought the fat guy in the apartment above me fell down. I think we had a 5-something last week, I didn't notice since I was at Disneyland.
    • 5.5 is "Can cause major damage to poorly constructed buildings over small regions. At most slight damage to well-designed buildings" It's only "a large truck going by" if you're not really that close to the epicenter...if your criteria is for an earthquake that you're not near, then whatever, a 9.9 you can't even feel at all (if you're on the other side of the world).
      • I remember a 5.6 aftershock from the '94 Northridge quake, and I was in my apt. about 8 miles from the epicenter. It was a little more than a large truck going by, but it was still no big deal.

      • It's only "a large truck going by" if you're not really that close to the epicenter..

        Uh, no, not really. They give you readings for the magnitude of where you are. That 6.5 earthquake in Seattle was a 2.5 in Portland.

    • by Hatta ( 162192 )

      In Canada a 5.5 earthquake is news. In California a 55F day is news.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by RafaelAngel ( 249818 )

      As said fatguy, all I gotta say is that I tripped over the dog.

    • Yes, well, some of us prefer to live in places with four seasons and where the earth doesn't just quaketh because it feels like it. I like my house, and I think it likes me. If it's going to move a couple of feet on the X, Y, or Z axis, I think we've got the kind of relationship where that sort of thing should be a mutual decision.

      I mean, I live near Detroit. I'm used to residents up and leaving and various forms of political instability, but when the ground itself decides that it's time to move, then that'

  • More details here []. Growing up in Peru, and experiencing many earthquakes in my life time, you would think I would recognize an earthquake but I didn't feel a thing. 5.5 isn't a small shake either.

  • Shaking (Score:4, Informative)

    by rxan ( 1424721 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @03:18PM (#32668912)
    Mississauga near Pearson Airport. 4th floor of office building. Wavy and shaking. Nothing was broken but you could really feel it. 43.638968,-79.609534
  • Felt it in Toronto
  • 45.47.0N, 73.50.60W.

    Felt it at 1:40pm (guess my clock is off), it lasted for a good minute.

  • Felt it here in upstate New York. Very pronounced.

  • Nothing felt in either Forest Park Illinois or Westland (burb of Detroit) Michigan.

    • by DriedClexler ( 814907 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @04:23PM (#32670126)

      Are we talking about the same Michigan? I was on a flight that landed in Detroit at about 2pm CST, and on the way to my destination I saw NUMEROUS buildings just devastated by the earthquake, a lack of essential services, disruption of civil order, severe deterioration of roads and infrastructure, looting in broad daylight ... you name it.

      They must have been near the earthquake's epicenter.

  • Most definitely felt in Schenectady NY (Clifton Park, actually), about 300 miles south-east of the epicenter. Felt like the entire building was a ship on the ocean for a good 10 seconds.

  • Yay! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Quebec's finally separating!

  • Known hazard area (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @03:34PM (#32669260)

    It's in part of Canada that is prone to earthquakes, extending roughly along the Ottawa and St. Lawrence River Valleys. The increased activity along here is related to two factors: 1) this is an old "suture" [] where pieces of continents were accreted onto the rest of North America a long time ago (the later half of the Paleozoic []) culminating in the building of the Appalachian Mountain system (the Appalachian Orogeny []); 2) the suture stopped being an active plate boundary after the continental pieces were fused onto the continent, but crustal stress still occurs because of the relatively "recent" melting of the continental ice sheets ~10k years ago. The weight of the couple kilometres of ice during the glaciation depressed the crust, and much of central Canada has been experiencing isostatic rebound [] (i.e. rising back up again) ever since the weight was removed. That process slowly deforms the crust, and when the stress gets too great the rock moves, generating earthquakes. The stress tends to get released along old zones of crustal weakness (i.e. #1).

    This seismic hazard map [] by the Geological Survey of Canada shows the increased risk along the St. Lawrence River rather nicely. More details here [].

    Having said all that, the level of activity in this part of Canada pales in comparison to earthquakes in the area of an active plate boundary, such as California, where the deformation rates are higher, the earthquakes more frequent, and often higher magnitude. It means that building codes along the St. Lawrence-Ottawa River Valleys are fairly strict when it comes to earthquake resistance, just in case, but a significant earthquake is still outside most people's everyday experience. I'm sure people are freaking out (I'm ~1000km away, so I felt nothing).

  • Latitude: 43.86
    Longitude: -79.37

    Everyone was on their cell, and I heard complaints of no 3G service.

    I was on the 3rd floor and everyone immediately stood up (i.e. noticeable), but it wasn't strong enough to shake objects on my desk. People on the 1st floor didn't notice anything.

    • What you felt was probably not the quake, just ATI firing up their new silicon for Southern Islands. :)


      • by malloc ( 30902 )

        Heh, according the the people I know that work there, they actually are working this week to bring it up. Or, I should say, bring "something" up. No product names mentioned, but it is "sorry folks, my schedule is going to be insane the next month or two" season over there.

  • 44.1557N 77.4298W Didn't feel much different than when the jets are coming in to land at CFB Trenton.
  • I'm working in a skyscrapper next to the central station in Montreal.,-73.561277&spn=0.018709,0.032487&t=h&z=15&iwloc=lyrftr:h,0x4cc91a5b0ef0a83f:0x242867c96dfae622,45.501926,-73.563337 [] My boss asked his neighbor to stop shaking his leg, it was shaking its desk... Besides that, most of us thought it was a loud truck passing by. Nothing serious to report. And unfortunately, no oh-nice-premature-end-of-work-day-everybody-panic-now!
    • I'm working in a skyscrapper next to the central station in Montreal.

      Most people I know have books of pictures of other people. But if the sky is your thing, more power to you. I'd love to know how you identify one sky from another though.

  • I was in Burlington on the 2nd floor and the floors and walls all wobbled, kind of cool 44.471806,-73.214529
  • by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @03:38PM (#32669318)

    If you felt this quake, it would be great to put your location in the title of your comments, below -- with lat/long coordinates even better.

    ...but do NOT post your zip+4 code, as that would be a huge invasion of privacy. :D

  • The article says to post your location if you felt the quake. Should you post your location if you feel FOR the victims of this horrible light trembling? If so, can the mods change my title to "In my office, on the third floor of my house"? Thanks.


  • I looked outside and saw wrecked cars strewn about. Some cars are overturned and on fire. Some buildings appear to be deteriorating in front of my very eyes.

    They I remembered I'm in Upstate New York. People here can't drive. The state is broke. Yesterday looked pretty much the same.
  • Strongest one I have ever felt. I felt and extremely minor one before and slept through the last one.

    I am on the 4th floor. Significant shaking for about 30 seconds. Long enough to walk into several different rooms, then decide to retreat from vibrating windows in case they shattered(didn't know enough to know if it peaked). There seemed to be almost another minute of very gentle rocking that was still moving the monitor etc... Turned on a Radio to find out where the epicenter was. Figured it had to be pret

  • Felt on the 3rd floor (not sure about lower floors, needed the extra swaying of the building to feel anything).
  • Waterloo, Ontario (Score:3, Informative)

    by kbahey ( 102895 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @03:50PM (#32669542) Homepage

    They have revised it down to 5.0 per the USGS [].

    I did feel it. Was on a recliner sofa working on my laptop, and felt the sofa rock back and forth. Did not think it was a quake at the time. See []">here.

  • Just happened to be out and about at the time.

  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @04:00PM (#32669762)

    61 kilometres north of Ottawa

    Thank God. That's thousands of miles from America.

  • Heads will roll (Score:4, Interesting)

    by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @04:02PM (#32669804) Homepage

    Any word on who they're planning to charge for failing to predict this monster?

  • by codegen ( 103601 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @04:06PM (#32669884) Journal
    There is already a wikipedia entry for it (almost 1 hr ago) []
  • by inhuman_4 ( 1294516 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @05:04PM (#32670834)

    My lab is on the 4th floor of an old building downtown Toronto and I definitely felt it. I have lived in this area my whole life and have never felt an earthquake before. At first I didn't know what it was, once I figured it out I started moving to the stairs.

    I know lots of people get more and bigger earth quakes then this, but for a first timer like me it's pretty freaky. Ancient 400lb spectrum analyzers don't normally move.


  • by Tarantura ( 952174 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @05:33PM (#32671144)
    Just making sure everyone knows their facts: Remember magnitude doesn't measure INTENSITY of shaking but instead amount of energy released at the moment the earthquake begins. Yes, the scale is logarithmic. So, a 5.0 earthquake is 32 times stronger than a 4.0, with a 6.0 releasing more than 1000 times the energy of a 4.0. Feeling that 5.7 on the 15th of this month here in SoCal, the first thing that pops in my head is "How strong is this one going to feel - is it the Big One"? It's actually quite cool to be able to feel the P-waves arrive first followed by the S-waves if the earthquake is both strong enough and far away enough for speed differences to be noticed. It's also nice to notice someone mention the glacial rebound earthquakes of areas in far NE U.S. and S.E. Canada - that's the first thing I guessed the moment I heard about it.

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