Earthquake of 5.0 magnitude rattles across Ontario and Quebec
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Earthquake of 5.0 magnitude rattles across Ontario and Quebec

An earthquake rocked residents of southern Ontario, Quebec and the northeastern United States on Wednesday afternoon.

The U.S. Geological Survey described the temblor as a magnitude 5.0 that occurred at 1:41 p.m. ET and was centred about 60 kilometres north of Ottawa, in western Quebec.

Residents in parts of upstate New York and Vermont also reported feeling the ground shake.

Within minutes of the quake, the phone lines at 680News came alive with people who said they felt the earth rumble in cities across Ontario including Windsor, Toronto and Ottawa.

The quake lasted for about 30 seconds.

Witnesses in downtown Toronto also described feeling a prolonged tremor that shook desks, rattled bookshelves and caused paintings on walls to shake.

There were no reports of damage or injury in the GTA.

Toronto Mayor David Miller told CityNews “we understand things are fine in Toronto – obviously scary for people who felt it.”

Holly Rockbrune, 25, works for an insurance company and was home for lunch when she began to notice something strange happening.

“It was odd because I was in the kitchen making lunch and I could hear banging,” Rockbrune said.

“I went into the living room and everything was rattling, but I didn’t think much of it so I went back into the kitchen. It only lasted a few seconds.”

It was one of the most significant quakes ever measured in the region, according to the USGS.

The two largest quakes in western Quebec occurred in 1935 at magnitude 6.1 and in 1732 at a magnitude of 6.2, according to the agency.

USGS added earthquakes east of the Rocky Mountains, although less frequent than in the west, are typically felt over a much broader region.

Meantime, experts said there could be many aftershocks in the Ottawa Valley; however, the GTA isn’t expected to feel them because they won’t be strong enough.

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