Tremors felt in NJ after Canadian earthquake

June 23, 2010 12:42:46 PM PDT
Authorities in northern New Jersey say numerous residents have called police to report feeling the ground shake.

The calls came shortly after an earthquake measuring magnitude 5.0 struck the Ontario-Quebec border region of Canada Wednesday afternoon.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, but the Bergen County administration building in Hackensack was evacuated just before 2 p.m. after employees reported they felt a tremor.

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Bergen County Police Lt. Christine Francois said numerous people in the Hackensack and Englewood areas called police to report earth tremors.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the Canada quake occurred at 1:41 p.m. EDT. It was felt in the city of Toronto and in a number of other U.S. states, including Michigan, Vermont and New York.

In Canada, the quake lasted for about 30 seconds, rattling downtown buildings and homes in Ottawa and Toronto, as well as government offices across the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec.

Several buildings in Toronto and the Ottawa region were evacuated.

Chris Cornell, 46, who works in downtown Toronto, said desks and furniture shook as he sat at his desk in a finance office.

In Michigan, residents from suburban Detroit to Port Huron and Saginaw reported feeling the earthquake.

In New York state, people from Buffalo to Albany and north to Massena on the St. Lawrence River said pets were startled and plates rattled when the quake hit.

David French, 53-year-old state worker from Cicero, New York, said he was at his computer inside his home near Syracuse when he felt his chair shake.

"I thought the chair was breaking or something," he said. "I looked over and my filing cabinet was moving."

The quake prompted several calls to state police in the Adirondacks area.

"A little shake, nothing too big," is how Trooper Mark Revette described the temblor. "It happens. We get a couple of these a year."

Kellie Tassone, 40, was at home on Oneida Lake in Cicero.

"My dog picked his head up just before it happened and kind of looked at me," she said. Then the sliding door started to rattle "and the house was shaking."