Tonight around 7:15pm, an earthquake shook Boston, Massachusetts. The earthquake, whose epicenter was near Lake Arrowhead, Maine, had a magnitude of 4.5M on the Ritcher scale. The ripple effects were felt here in Boston and people began tweeting about the event shortly.
Lake Arrowhead, which is about 92 miles northeast of Boston, saw the earthquake occur around 7:12pm this evening. Currently, no damage has been reported. This is the first earthquake to make news in the area since 2011, when an earthquake whose epicenter was in Virginia rattled the Hub. That summer, Wikipedia states that “in Boston, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency reported tremors and swaying buildings but no damage. The U.S. District Court in South Boston was evacuated and the University of Massachusetts Boston closed early. In Maine, the earthquake was felt as far north as Augusta and Portland, but no damage was reported in the state.”
We are currently awaiting more information on the earthquake.
The worst earthquake that originated in Massachusetts occurred in 1755. According to Wikipedia, “The Cape Ann Earthquake took place off the coast of the British Province of Massachusetts Bay (the present-day Americancommonwealth of Massachusetts) on November 18, 1755. At between 6.0 and 6.3 on the Richter scale, it remains the largest earthquake in the history of Massachusetts.”
Maine’s Department of Conservation’s society states few know the main reason (no pun inteneded) why earthquakes occur on the East Coast. From this link, “There must be some amount of regional stress distributed through the North American crust that causes rock somewhere to give way occasionally. Geologists and geophysicists have some hypotheses about the origin of the regional stress field, but no consensus has emerged.” There is actually a pretty cool article on this topic by Boston College’s Prof. Alan Kafka of Weston Observatory, “Why Does the Earth Quake in New England?”
The Weston Observatory also has seismic activity chart. The big green smudge at the bottom is when the earthquake hit: