Canada earthquake measures 5.0; shakes Ottawa, Toronto, and U.S.
Canada earthquake: Parliament building in Ottawa evacuated. Workers also left buildings in Toronto
Toronto — A magnitude-5.0 earthquake struck at the Ontario-Quebec border region of Canada on Wednesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said, and homes and businesses were shaken from Canada's capital in Ottawa on south to an arc of U.S. states.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
Morgan Moschetti, a seismologist with the USGS, said it was not unusual for an earthquake to be felt 300 miles (482 kilometers) from the epicenter and noted that the latest quake was felt in the U.S. from Chicago to Maine.
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The agency said the quake occurred at a depth of about 12 miles (19.2 kilometers) at 1:45 p.m. EDT (1741 GMT). The agency initially said the quake had a 5.5 magnitude, but later reduced it to a magnitude-5.0.
The Parliament building in Ottawa was evacuated, with workers sent home while the building was inspected. Workers also left buildings in Toronto.
Melanie Lauzon, a Liberal member of Parliament, said her first thought was that Ottawa had been hit with "with a very large car bomb," since the quake struck on the eve of the summits.
Conservative Senator Lowell Murray said the massive chandeliers of the upper chamber of Parliament began swaying during a mundane debate on energy issues.
"Initially we thought it might have been an airplane crashing into the building," Murray said. "But we were standing around wondering what was going on. And I quickly realized it was an earthquake. And then everybody started shouting out, out, out."
Residents of a number of states in the Midwest and Northeast reported feeling the earthquake.
In Cleveland, James Haselden says his office in a renovated 19th century brick building swayed and he heard plastic cracking but saw no damage.
New York City officials said police received emergency calls came in from all over the city about shaking buildings, but there were no reports of damage.
"I thought the chair was breaking or something," he said. "I looked over and my filing cabinet was moving."
The quake prompted several calls to state police in the Adirondacks area.
"A little shake, nothing too big," is how Trooper Mark Revette described the temblor. "It happens. We get a couple of these a year."
Kellie Tassone, 40, was at home on Oneida Lake in Cicero.
"My dog picked his head up just before it happened and kind of looked at me," she said. Then the sliding door started to rattle "and the house was shaking."
The USGS said the two largest quakes in western Quebec occurred in 1935 at magnitude-6.1 and in 1732 at a magnitude of 6.2, where it caused significant damage in Montreal.
The agency said earthquakes cause significant damage in the region about once a decade. Smaller earthquakes are felt three or four times a year.