Earthquake in southern Maine
Oct 16, 2012 / 8:03 pm
An earthquake that hit southern Maine Tuesday night rattled nearby New England states as far as Connecticut, including the Boston area, but caused no injuries or apparent damage.
The U.S. Geological Survey at first estimated the 7:12 p.m. quake as a 4.6 magnitude, but later downgraded that to 4.0. The epicenter, about 3 miles west of Hollis Center, Maine, is about 3 miles deep. That location is about 20 miles west of Portland.
About 10 miles away in Waterboro, about 20 customers and staff at Waterboro House of Pizza ran outside when they heard a loud bang and the building shook.
"It was loudest bang you ever heard in your life. We actually thought it was an explosion of some type," said owner Jessica Hill. "The back door and door to the basement blew open."
In nearby Saco, Sue Hadiaris said, "The whole house shook. It felt like a train was coming right through the house. It was very unnerving because you could feel the floor shaking. There was a queasy feeling."
Afterward, Hadiaris called her 15-year-old niece in Falmouth to make sure she was safe. "She said, 'We can cross that off our bucket list. We've lived through an earthquake,'" Hadiaris said.
Lynette Miller, a spokeswoman for the Maine Emergency Management Agency, said her dogs started barking several seconds before the quake. "It was several seconds of good shaking, but nothing falling down," Miller said from her home in Readfield, about 60 miles north of Portland.
The Seabrook Station nuclear plant, about 63 miles away in New Hampshire, declared an unusual event, the lowest of four emergency classifications, but said it was not affected. The plant has been offline for refuelling .
"There has been no impact at all to the plant from the earthquake and our refuelling maintenance activities have not been affected," said Alan Griffith, spokesman for Next EnergyEra Seabrook Station.
Jim Van Dongen, public information officer for the New Hampshire Department of Safety said New Hampshire 911 got about 1,000 calls in the first hour after the quake, but they later dropped off. He said no major damage was reported.
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