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'Since when does Ohio get earthquakes?' Magnitude 4.0 earthquake shakes near Cleveland

By Amanda Schmidt, AccuWeather staff writer
June 10, 2019, 8:24:52 PM EDT

Ohio Earthquake 6-10-2019

A 4.0 magnitude earthquake struck near Cleveland, Ohio, on Monday morning. (USGS)


An earthquake was recorded in northeastern Ohio on Monday morning. The preliminary magnitude 4.0 earthquake was centered just north of Eastlake, Ohio, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

There were no reports immediately of damage. A magnitude 4 earthquake can cause light to moderate damage.

The USGS is collecting responses from people who felt the tremors. Over 8,000 people reported feeling the earthquake so far. The majority of reports rate the intensity as weak to light, USGS reports.

The event occurred in a region that is not typically associated with high seismic activity, and many resident contacted local emergency officials after the shake. The City of Mentor said that the dispatch is "overwhelmed with 911 calls," but that they "are waiting for the experts to affirm what was probably an earthquake here."

"Please don't cal 911 unless you are having an emergency," the City of Mentor said in a tweet.

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) captured the earthquake on multiple traffic cams.


Many social media users expressed shock with the earthquake and its location.

"This Ohio we are not supposed to get earthquakes or tornadoes just bad weather, snow 6 months out the year and know that Ohio state football will beat Michigan in football every year," a Twitter user said. Another user tweeted, "we really just got hit by an earthquake in NE Ohio something ain’t right here."

"For the first time since I lived in California, I’m pretty sure I felt an earthquake...in Ohio?" sports reporter Nate Barnes said in a tweet.

Other social media users were not quite sure what shook them. One Twitter user wrote, "My house was just shaking was that a earthquake?"


Twitter user Jas Singh asked a question that many may have during this event, which is: "Since when does Ohio get earthquakes?"

While Ohio is not considered by most people to be an earthquake-prone state, there have been at least 200 earthquakes with epicenters in Ohio since 1776, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Shaking has also been felt in Ohio with several earthquakes that struck outside of the state, such as earthquakes with epicenters in Pennsylvania or Kentucky.

The majority of these recorded Ohio earthquakes have been felt only locally and have caused no damage or injuries. At least 15 earthquakes have caused minor to moderate damage in Ohio. So far, there have been no deaths reported and only a few minor injuries have occurred with these earthquakes.

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According to ODNR, three areas of the state are particularly susceptible to seismic activity. Most of these events were small and caused little or no damage, with few exceptions of events with minor to moderate damage.

Over 100 earthquakes have rattled northeastern Ohio since 1836, many of them striking beneath Lake Erie near Lake County. Shelby County and nearby counties in western Ohio have experienced more than 40 earthquakes since 1875. At least 15 felt earthquakes have been reported in southeastern Ohio since 1776, according to ODNR.

An earthquake with a magnitude of 3.5 to 4.1 is felt by most people and can cause minor damages, such as damage to windows. As the magnitude increases to 4.1 to 4.7, the earthquake is felt by everyone and it may cause more minor damages, according to ODNR.

Ohio Earthquake 6-10-2019

A preliminary magnitude 4.0 earthquake was detected by a seismic station in Lake County, Ohio, Monday morning. (Ohio Department of Natural Resources)


The cause of earthquakes in Ohio, as well as throughout the eastern U.S., is not well understood and therefore, difficult to evaluate. Earthquakes in Ohio are relatively infrequent in comparison to plate-margin areas like California, as "active faults do not reach the surface in Ohio and therefore cannot be mapped without the aid of expensive subsurface techniques," according to ODNR.

"The brief historic record of Ohio earthquakes suggests a risk of moderately damaging earthquakes in the western, northeastern, and southeastern parts of the state," the ODNR said.

Further research is needed to better understand the earthquake risk in Ohio.

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