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Local News

October 17, 2012

Maine earthquake: Did you feel it?

(Continued)

The Maine Emergency Management Agency had no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The Seabrook Station nuclear plant, about 63 miles away in New Hampshire, declared an unusual event — the lowest of four emergency classifications, but said it was not affected. The plant has been offline for refueling.

“There has been no impact at all to the plant from the earthquake, and our refueling maintenance activities have not been affected,” said Alan Griffith, spokesman for Next EnergyEra Seabrook Station.

Earthquakes are rare in New England, but they’re not unheard of. In 2006, there was a series of earthquakes around Maine’s Acadia National Park, including one with a magnitude of 4.2 that caused boulders to fall from ledges onto Acadia National Park’s loop road. One of the park’s trails was closed for three years because of damage from the quake.

The strongest earthquake recorded in Maine occurred in 1904 in the Eastport area, near the state’s eastern border with Canada, according the Weston Observatory at Boston College. With a magnitude estimated at 5.7 to 5.9, it damaged chimneys and brick walls and could be felt in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

East Coast quakes are rarely strong enough to be felt over a wide area. A quake of magnitude 5.8 on Aug. 23, 2011, was centered in Virginia and felt all along the coast, including in New York City and Boston. Experts say the region’s geology can make the effects felt in an area up to 10 times larger than quakes of similar size on the West Coast.

Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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