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Quake reported in eastern Canada

By Paula Newton and Joe Sterling, CNN
updated 2:42 PM EDT, Fri May 17, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • "My house shook," the Ontario premier says
  • The quake's magnitude was 5.2, and an aftershock was recorded
  • There was "a lot of shaking," town official says
  • The earthquake was felt in parts of New York state, Cleveland

(CNN) -- Eastern Canada got the shakes on Friday. Even the northern U.S. twitched.

People on both sides of the border felt an earthquake originating around the Quebec and Ontario borders, the Canadian government said. Natural Resources Canada gave it a preliminary magnitude of 5.2; the U.S. Geological Survey put it at 4.4.

With an epicenter about 11 miles (18 kilometers) from Shawville, in western Quebec, the quake was felt in the Ottawa-Gatineau area and out to Toronto, more than 260 miles away. It hit a nerve in New York state and Cleveland, too.

"My house shook!" Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said in a tweet.

Authorities say it is unlikely the quake, which occurred at 9:43 a.m., caused significant damage. It was followed 10 minutes later by an aftershock measured at magnitude-4.1 by the Canadian agency and 3.6 by the U.S. bureau. Its epicenter was about 12 miles (19 kilometers) from Shawville.

"It kind of made me a little nervous and I booted it out of the house as quick as I could. It certainly got my heart racing," said Jonathan Essiambre of Shawville, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

"It was like a massive explosion that went off. It just started shaking and the walls of the bakery were moving," Dan Duggan, who owns a bakery in Shawville, said, according to the CBC. "I thought it was my propane tanks exploding. We were evacuating employees out of the building. It lasted for about 25 seconds and it went on for about another minute."

"We had a lot of shaking, that's for sure," said Kim Bulmer, town clerk of nearby Renfrew, Ontario. "But I just checked with the public works director, and there does not seem to be any reports of damage so far."

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said state emergency officials were monitoring the quake, felt in parts of the state.

"At this time, there have been no reports of damage to any of the state's critical infrastructure," Cuomo said in a written statement.

Eastern Canada has a relatively low rate of earthquake activity, according to Natural Resources Canada, but there have been large earthquakes before, with about four exceeding magnitude 4 per year.

"A decade will, on average, include three events greater than magnitude 5," the agency said.

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