News

Earthquake

By Ryan McGreal
Published June 23, 2010

Note: the content of this blog entry will be updated steadily as more information emerges

The USGS has confirmed an earthquake that originated near the Ontario-Quebec border today at 1:41 PM and measured 5.5 on the Richter scale.

Twitter is abuzz with reports of an earthquake at around 1:45 PM in the Hamilton area. I felt about 20 seconds of significant vibration in my third floor office building in the King/James area.

Reports of the earthquake have come in from Dundas, Glanbrook, Brantford, Lowville, Mississauga, Toronto, Ottawa and the northeastern USA as well.

The HWDSB evacuated its office at Main St. and Bay St., but the building was reopened after emergency services investigated it. The Ontario government also evacuated its office in the Ellen Fairclough building.

In Ottawa, the Globe and Mail evacuated their Ottawa Bureau office.

The Earthquakes Canada website has been non-responsive since 1:45 PM. however, the USGS quickly posted a report:

The explosion in communication following the earthquake also seems to be congesting mobile phone phone networks, as reports are coming in from people who cannot connect on their cell phones.

The dedicated folks at Wikipedia have already posted a page on the incident, though it's currently little more than a stub.

With a severe storm warning for later this evening, southern Ontarians may be forgiven for thinking the earth has it in for them.

The City of Toronto issued a press release regarding the earthquake. The City of Hamilton just issued a press release as well:

STATEMENT

The City of Hamilton Earthquake

Following an initial assessment, there has been no major damage to City infrastructure. Further investigations are taking place to confirm. Horizon Utilities have reported that there has been no damage to their infrastructure or interruptions to service.

The City's Emergency Operations Centre has not bee activated but city staff are monitoring the situation and can respond to this event if necessary. We will continue to monitor the situation and will report as necessary.

Residents should follow the instructions of their building management.

At this time the City has received no calls concerning bridge, building or other infrastructure problems.

For more information on earthquakes please see http://www.getprepared.gc.ca/knw/ris/eq-eng.aspx.

Meanwhile, Toronto has hastened to take ownership of the earthquake even though its epicenter was several hundred kilometres away.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal.

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By Brioski8 (registered) | Posted June 23, 2010 at 13:51:20

Felt here in Lowville. Near Guelph Line and Britannia

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By adrian (registered) | Posted June 23, 2010 at 13:52:12

I saw reports as far away as Brooklyn and Montreal. So I'm guessing it was a fairly large one. Curious about where the epicenter is located.

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By Myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted June 23, 2010 at 13:52:18

I've heard Montreal and Syracuse.

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/r...

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted June 23, 2010 at 14:01:06

Mississauga too @ Erin Mills & 401

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By Myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted June 23, 2010 at 14:03:12

Detroit, Baltimore, Boston, and some reports of not feeling it at all in Burlington.

Canadian earthquake site: http://earthquakescanada.nrcan.gc.ca/ind... currently down.

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted June 23, 2010 at 14:06:21

Here's a link to the USGS page for the quake

Comment edited by UrbanRenaissance on 2010-06-23 13:06:29

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted June 23, 2010 at 14:38:18

I felt the ground actually ripple, it went on for a good 30 seconds. Thought I was going crazy. Man 5.5 is big isn't it? Good thing I'm tuned to RTH. Thanks for being the first to report it.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted June 23, 2010 at 14:40:38

UrbanRen... cool site... I can't believe the epi was that far away and it felt that strong here.

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted June 23, 2010 at 14:41:29

Thanks for being the first to report it.

Ditto! You definitely scooped the MSM on this one Ryan!

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By Mover (anonymous) | Posted June 23, 2010 at 14:44:57

Had a good shake at my third floor desk in Stinson. My Galileo thermometer had waves in it. At first I thought it was just a huge improvement in HSR service as the bus tends to cause a bump every time it passes over a patched utility trench out front. But after ten seconds...

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted June 23, 2010 at 14:45:29

First!

Soon after!

Eventually!

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2010-06-23 13:46:57

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted June 23, 2010 at 14:49:43

It didn't help that the Spec's website got overloaded and wasn't accessible until now.

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By z jones (registered) | Posted June 23, 2010 at 14:58:06

If only the Spec had the resources to get reporters on the scene and do the quick research to put up helpful information. Sadly they have to make do with what they've got.

Comment edited by z jones on 2010-06-23 14:02:36

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By amateur (anonymous) | Posted June 23, 2010 at 15:02:10

If I was a professional reporter I'd be pissed a bunch of amateurs did a total end run around me.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted June 23, 2010 at 15:05:03

Funny, since I work in the steel industry we actually didn't notice. Large ground-shaking thudding noises aren't exactly rare around these parts.

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By jason (registered) | Posted June 23, 2010 at 15:17:58

that was freaky! My large bookshelf was wobbling a good 4-5 inches off the wall.
I was in my office and at first thought someone had snuck in and was pulling my chair (we have lots of youth around here. LOL). I turned around and realized the whole room was waving. Crazy.

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By crhayes (registered) - website | Posted June 23, 2010 at 16:15:09

I was driving around the time of it... so I didn't notice! I do remember hearing a weird noise though, that could have been it. Could also be a false memory :(

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By zippo (registered) | Posted June 23, 2010 at 17:05:08

They have much better earthquakes in Portland

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By jason (registered) | Posted June 23, 2010 at 17:37:39

LOL. Very true. That's one area they can keep outclassing us in.

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By Shakes the Clown (anonymous) | Posted June 23, 2010 at 17:40:36

Non-event, just like the massive storm.

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By Disappointed (anonymous) | Posted June 23, 2010 at 18:47:02

I was home for work this afternoon. My partner was too; it was warm; we had a good lunch, a martini or so and then we became frisky. My partner said the ground moved. I was proud of myself!

Thanks for spoiling it for me!

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By frank (registered) | Posted June 24, 2010 at 08:59:10

LOL @Disappointed... I work right next to a steel fabricator and when I felt it I thought it was them although their building shaking is usually accompanied by a large bang. Made me kind of sick to my stomach.

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By JoeyColeman (registered) - website | Posted June 25, 2010 at 01:44:41

I want to note that as a Spectator intern, I was on the scene at the HWDSB at 1359 - about 15 mins after the tremor.

The photo used here was taken by me - let's not be too quick to completely dismiss TheSpec.

That said, well done with the quick tweet Ryan.

I'm glad you were able to use the photo and please feel free to continue to use any photos I put up on the 'net.

I apologize to everyone that I didn't get the photo up right away. It was taken at 1359 - my BB decided to act up yesterday. Damn thing need to be reset (battery removed) at least twice a day.

Cheers,

Joey

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted June 25, 2010 at 09:59:02

Joey, you may be one of the best things to happen to the Spec in some time. The paper is full of talented people but the organization as an entity seems to lack purpose and direction these days. Having someone with a passion for journalism and a clear sense of how useful (as opposed to threatening) new communications media are for journalists can only be a Good Thing. All the best with your internship!

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2010-06-25 09:27:48

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