Earthquake rattles Southeastern Mass - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Earthquake rattles Southeastern Mass

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Nicole Gerber


FAIRHAVEN - In the last almost 40 years the strongest magnitude earthquake to Southeastern Massachusetts measured in at 3.5 on the Richter Scale.

Today's quake only hit 1.9, but that was still enough to surprise and confuse the people who felt it.

Three year old Elizabeth was home with her grandmother in their Fairhaven home this morning when she heard it. She called it a "boom!"

It was really a 1.9 magnitude earthquake with an epicenter about 7 miles north/northwest of New Bedford.

"All of a sudden there was a very loud boom and the house shook and rattled!" said Janice Oliveira of Fairhaven.

Once the quake hit just before 11 the switchboards at the Fairhaven Police Department lit up. Dozens of people called in wondering what that sound was.

"Initially some people thought it might have been the quarry just north of here blasting, people thought it might have been blasting in the harbor, where they're putting in a new pier over in New Bedford," said Sgt. Kevin Kobza.

"First thing that came to mind was that a house exploded somewhere. Since you hear about those, you know, gas leaks in a home," said Lisa Oliveira of Fairhaven.

And little Elizabeth guessed... it could have been fireworks.

Fairhaven Police say they didn't receive any calls reporting damage from the earthquake and neither did surrounding towns.

But the shock of the event is still lingering for the people who felt it.

"I have felt the house rattle before but this was larger than those rattles and... I just can't imagine what people in California and other parts of the country who experience earthquakes all the time, how they tolerate them," said Janice.

In the last three years this is the second earthquake in that same area to register around 2 on the Richter Scale.

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