SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

October 17, 2012

Maine earthquake: Did you feel it?

The region was rumbling with talk of tremors after local residents felt the magnitude-4.0 earthquake that struck last night outside Hollis Center, Maine.

“It was exciting, but at the same time you’re like, ‘I actually heard the house move,’” said Jane Williams, a resident of Goodwin Road in Beverly who said she was at home watching television when the quake hit just after 7 p.m. “You hope nothing’s wrong.”

“I think every bottle in the store rattled,” said Gail LaPointe, shift manager at Cosgrove’s Liquors on Bridge Street in Salem. “I really thought that somebody had hit the building. ... I ran out to the parking lot.”

Authorities around the region reported a spike of emergency calls about the tremors but no actual damage or injuries stemming from them.

Though many people reported feeling the earthquake, just as many seemed to have missed out. Dale Murphy, manager of The Old Spot in Salem, said he didn’t feel it. Neither did Scott Froeschl, manager at Trader Joe’s in Peabody.

“We got word from our spouses,” Froeschl said.

Some people felt it only have to others in close proximity wonder what the fuss was about.

“I felt it in my chair, shaking back and forth,” said Sgt. Fred Ryan of the Salem police. “I asked two other people walking by — they didn’t feel it.”

“Some guests felt it, some guests didn’t,” said Dan Peppe, supervisor at the Comfort Inn in Danvers. Peppe said that, oddly enough, the guests who felt the tremors seemed to be the ones on the upper floors.

“I didn’t feel it, personally,” he added.

The earthquake was reportedly felt as far south as Connecticut. 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, was about 3 miles deep. That location is about 20 miles west of Portland.

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