An earthquake struck early this morning near the U.S. / Canada border north of New York state and west of Montreal, Quebec Province. According to USGS, the magnitude 2.5 earthquake struck at 4:59 am ET this morning at a depth of 10.2 km. People reported shaking to the USGS in the western suburbs of Montreal across Baie-D’Urfe, L’lle-Perrot, Pincourt, and Vaudreuil-Dorion. Similar reports were sent to Earthquake Canada, the Canadian equivalent of the U.S.-based USGS earthquake tracking agency.
Today’s earthquake is the second to strike the area in the last 30 days and the 9th to strike in the last 12 months. The strongest of the nine happened on November 14, when a magnitude 3.0 earthquake struck not far from today’s. That November earthquake generated more than 640 reports of people experiencing shaking conditions in the region.
While not frequent, this region has been home to numerous earthquakes over the years. Considered as the Western Quebec Seismic Zone by Canadian scientists, the zone constitutes a vast territory that encloses the Ottawa Valley from Montreal to Temiscaming, as well as the Laurentians and the Eastern Ontario. The urban areas of Montreal, Ottawa-Hull and Cornwall are also located in this zone.
The Western Quebec Seismic Zone has been hit by 3 powerful earthquakes over the last 290 years. In 1732, a quake with an estimated magnitude of 5.8 hit Montreal, causing significant damage. In 1935, the area of Temiscaming was shaken by a 6.2 magnitude earthquake. In 1944, an earthquake struck in the area between Cornwall, Ontario and Massena, New York; that magnitude 5.6 event created millions of dollars worth of damage.
According to Earthquake Canada, an earthquake typically occurs at least once every five days in the Western Quebec Seismic Zone. However, most aren’t noticed due to their weak magnitude.